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Widow Warns There Will Be 'War' If Council Remove Husband's Gravestone

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Widow Warns There Will Be 'War' If Council Remove Husband's Gravestone

The widow of William Collins has warned the council 'riots' will break out if her late husband's huge headstone is removed.

Kathleen Collins has vowed to fight Sheffield City Council over any plans to remove or destroy the 37-ton memorial to her husband, who died in July 2020 aged just 49.

A row has broken out between the family and the council over the monument.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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The headstone at Shiregreen Cemetery in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, is crafted from solid Carrara marble and features depictions of Jesus, biblical scenes, life-sized statues of William and even a solar-powered jukebox playing his favourite tracks, with mourners also able to connect to a speaker through Bluetooth to play their own songs.

Earlier this week, council bosses said the headstone was erected without permission - something the family denies - meaning it may have to be demolished.

Councillor Alison Teal, Executive Member for Sustainable Neighbourhoods, Wellbeing, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield council said: "We are aware of a large memorial which has been erected in Shiregreen Cemetery.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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"This memorial was built without permission, and we are currently considering our next steps."

However, Kathleen told the Daily Mail there would be 'war' if anyone tried to remove it.

She said: "The council have raised concerns because members of the public have been hounding them to complain about it.

"There's a lot of racism and jealousy involved because Willy was a famous traveller who was known all over Sheffield.

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"There have been vicious comments on social media from those who hate the traveller community and they have left the whole family feeling very hurt and angry.

"People are threatening to pull the monument down or damage it while the Council is saying we may have to change it, but if that happens, there's going to be war.

"It's going to cause very, very bad riots if they take my husband's headstone down.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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"I am warning the public and the Council, don't touch the beautiful monument we have put up to remember my darling Willy."

In a statement, a spokesperson from Sheffield City Council said: "Sheffield City Council approved plans for a memorial; however, the plans which were submitted and approved differ from the memorial now in place.

"This was not fully appreciated until after the structure was fully unveiled.

"We have reached out to the family and intend to discuss changes which need to be made in order to satisfy the cemetery rules and take into consideration other cemetery users.

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"It would not be appropriate to discuss the details further as this is a sensitive matter and we wish to speak with the family fully in the coming days."

Topics: UK News

Claire Reid
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