£6,500 fundraiser launched for sculpture in memory of city’s ‘most famous cat’

Garfield's (pictured) owner, David Willers, is raising money in hopes of installing a bronze sculpture

Garfield's (pictured) owner, David Willers, is raising money in hopes of installing a bronze sculpture of the much-loved feline with a bench beside it in Pocket Park, Ely. - Credit: GoFundMe

A fundraiser has been launched in hopes of raising £6,500 to create a permanent memorial for Ely’s ‘most famous cat’ Garfield. 

Commonly known as ‘Garfy’ and ‘Mr Sainsbury’, David Willers’ pet was a local celebrity who regularly featured in the press for his various antics, as well as being the star of two books. 

Garfield died after being hit by a car in 2019 and since then, David has been thinking of the best way to create a memorial for him. 

David has now received planning permission through from the council and hopes to install a bronze sculpture of the much-loved feline with a bench beside it. 

“People loved Garfy.” he said. 

“Ever since we lost him, people have been asking if we can erect a memorial for him so we approached the council and got permission to install a life size bronze of Garfy with a bench in Pocket Park, close to his roaming ground.” 

David says the idea is that people can sit on the bench and stroke the statue, just as they used to stroke the real Garfy when he was alive. 

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The statue will be created by local artist Sally Dunham who creates a wide range of animal sculptures from her studio in Soham. 

Sally says she was “delighted” to be asked to create Garfy’s likeness. 

“When David approached me, I was honoured to be invited to work on this project,” she said. 

“Garfy has such a special place in people’s hearts and the idea of being able to create a place of reflection is wonderful – especially after the last two years.” 

She added: “Once we start work on the sculpture, we plan to have a website where I can upload photos of the creative process so that anyone who has donated can see the progress we are making.” 

£1,420 has been raised so far towards the statue. 

If you’d like to make a donation towards the creation and installation of it, you can donate through the fundraiser that has been set up on GoFundMe.  

Plans are in place to unveil the statue during summer 2023 and any surplus money after the creation and installation of the statue in Pocket Park will be donated to other charities.