When Willie met Wullie: Dons star meets sculpture ahead of Bucket Trail launch

Dons legend Willie Miller came face-to-face with an Oor Wullie statue inspired by an iconic moment in his footballing career.

The Gothenburg Great unveiled the Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail sculpture based on him at the Bon Accord Centre.

Designed by artist Sarah Mauchline and signed by the former Aberdeen Football Club manager, the sculpture, which is part of the national Oor Wullie art trail, immortalises the moment Willie lifted the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983.

The Oor Wullie Miller statue wears the 1983 strip and has a programme from the game. It also contains the lyrics from the team’s cult classic European song.

Willie Miller

Speaking at a launch event for the statue, Willie said: “It is very lifelike and here was me thinking there was only one of me, but now there are two.

“It is an amazing effort by the artist Sarah and I’m hoping it can raise some funds for charity.”

He joked: “The statue is very jovial and I don’t know if Aberdeen fans will remember me being quite so happy as that apart from when lifting trophies.

“I’m sure a lot of referees won’t remember me being that jovial.

“I think it is maybe me enjoying the aftermath of putting Rangers to the sword.”

The statue will be on show at the Bon Accord Centre for the duration of the trail.

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Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is the first nationwide public arts trail and will cover 700 miles across Scotland this summer.

An exhibition of 200 statues of the playful loon will take to the streets of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Dundee for 11 weeks starting on Monday until August 30.

It is part of a bid to raise awareness and funds for charities including the Archie Foundation in the north-east.

Artist Sarah, from Portlethen, said she had been overwhelmed at the unveiling and thanked the Dons legend for helping her create the finer details of the statue.

The 36-year-old said her family was a huge inspiration as they are all big Aberdeen FC fans.

She said: “Willie Miller is regularly mentioned in our household so it was a natural fit for me to do this. He is a legend and it means a lot to me that he is happy with the sculpture.

“When I work on illustrations I try to do a lot of detail, so I wanted to try to add as much detail as possible to bring it to life.

“Willie has been really involved and I had asked him about his football boots because I wanted to get the brand and make of the boots right.

“I hope when this goes to auction it will raise a lot of money.”