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Michael Foot honoured with memorial in West Country hometown

PUBLISHED: 10:42 05 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:48 05 August 2015

Michael Foot. Picture: PA.

Michael Foot. Picture: PA.

PA Archive/Press Association Images

He is one of Plymouth’s most famous sons and has become synonymous with Hampstead’s socialist heritage.

Five years on from the death of Michael Foot, the former Labour leader has been commemorated with the unveiling of a special memorial at the heart of his West Country hometown.

On Friday last week, Plymouth City Council unveiled specially-carved granite blocks dedicated to Mr Foot in Plymouth’s Freedom Fields Park, opposite the house in which he was born more than a century ago.

The memorial is comprised of two granite blocks, which can be used as seats, alongside a taller centrepiece emblazoned with “Michael Mackintosh Foot 1913-2010”.

Words such as “orator”, “democratic socialist” and “journalist” are also inscribed on the rocks.

Mr Foot is remembered as one of Plymouth’s most popular MPs. He was first elected to parliament in the Plymouth Devonport constituency in 1945, winning it for Labour for the first time.

A long-time Hampstead resident until his death aged 96, Mr Foot never lost sight of his hometown and remained a passionate supporter of Plymouth Argyle throughout his long life, having previously served as a director of the club for a number of years.

The new memorial at Freedom Fields Park, the scene of many public speeches given by Mr Foot over the years, is the result of a two-year fundraising campaign from the city council, raising nearly £50,000 in donations.

Last year, Mr Foot’s family auctioned off his famous walking stick to support the fundraising campaign.

Following a serious car crash in 1963 which nearly claimed his life. Mr Foot was rarely seen without the wooden cane for the rest of his days.

Luke Pollard, one of the Michael Foot Memorial Appeal organisers, told the Plymouth Herald: “We hope that the memorial will serve as a lasting reminder of Michael’s contribution to Plymouth and will also allow future generations to discover Michael Foot and understand his achievements.”

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