It’s official, a life-size statue of Long Boi will be built on York’s campus

YUSU’s fundraising campaign has raised £5,500 for the memorial

A life-size statue of Long Boi, York’s famous campus duck who was confirmed to have passed away in May, will be built on campus after a fundraising campaign by the student union raised £5,500.

With over 60K followers on Instagram, Long Boi was a beloved character not only in York, but across the country. News of his disappearance made national news as tributes poured in from across the UK, including doughnuts, club nights, and a two minutes’ quack on Greg James’ BBC Radio One Breakfast Show.

Following calls from students, the University of York’s Student Union announced it would be raising up to £10,000 to fund a statue of Long Boi on campus. Having since raised £5,500, Long Boi is officially getting a life-size statue in his memory.

via @longboiyork

Long Boi first appeared on York’s campus in 2019 where, standing at 70cm tall, he seemed out of place with the other ducks and geese in the lake. The Mallard / Indian Runner cross was believed to have been left on campus as an unwanted pet.

After an Instagram account was set up for him, he quickly gained his status as a campus celebrity. With a society set up in his name and his own merch line, he became The University of York’s unofficial mascot.

A viral Reddit post of Long Boi claiming him to be a metre tall attracted huge attention, leading him to be featured in many national news sites and on James Corden’s Late Late Show.

Back in May, The York Tab then reported that student’s were growing concerned after Long Boi had not been seen for a number of weeks. The university then confirmed that he hadn’t been seen in a “few weeks”, before officially confirming Long Boi’s passing a week later.

As tributes began to pour in from Long Boi’s thousands of fans nationwide, The University of York’s Student Union launched a fundraising campaign to fund a memorial on campus.

Student Union President Pierrick Rodger has said that he was “besieged by students and the wider community” with requests to preserve the memory of Long Boi, who he described as an “international superstar”.

The fundraiser has officially raised £5,500, far exceeding the initial target of £1,000, which would have funded a bench in Long Boi’s memory. The money raised will now go toward a life-size sculpture of the campus icon, to be placed alongside the open lakes by Derwent College where Long Boi lived.

Pierrick told the BBC that any left over money will be donated to mental health on campus and travel abroad schemes “so none of the money gets wasted”. He also said the memorial would be life size “so people visiting campus can see Long Boi as he was”.

He said that though people have already proposed ceramic or silver statues, “bronze is the ideal”.

Featured image via Instagram @YUSUpresident and @longboiyork

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