Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 18:19 UK

McCullough included in new mural

The mural showing (L-R) James 'Jimmy' Warnock,  Davy Larmour and Tommy Armour
The Lower Shankill Community Association was responsible for the artwork

Former world champion Wayne McCullough is to be included in a new mural on the Shankill Road celebrating the achievements of people who were born or grew up there.

On Wednesday, the 'Pocket Rocket' said he was saddened that he had been omitted from a mural in the area celebrating the area's boxing heritage.

Stephen Long, who runs taxi tours across west Belfast, said he hoped McCullough would be pleased with the new mural on Gardiner Street.

"I think he was aggrieved that he was overlooked because he fought for and won a world title," he said.

"This mural will be dedicated to him and other people from the Shankill.

"What Wayne didn't get with one mural, he will get with this one."

The community group behind the boxing heritage artwork said it did not mean to cause any offence to McCullough, highlighting that the featured fighters have all hung up their gloves a long time ago.

However, McCullough told BBC News that he thought he deserved to be included in the mural.

"They can say there's going to be future murals or whatever, but that could be just an excuse now because I wasn't put up on this wall," he said.

"The mural is called Shankill Road Boxing, it doesn't say former fighters and most people think I'm retired anyway. They're also surrounded by kids and they're not former fighters.

Wayne McCullough during a fight
Wayne McCulllough is a former world champion

"I was born close to where the mural is situated, in fact I was actually born on the Shankill Road at home - I'm a Shankill Road fighter."

Ian McLaughlin of the Lower Shankill Community Association said there was "definitely no intention to offend" the former world champion and Olympic silver medalist.

"The mural depicts three former boxers (James 'Jimmy' Warnock, Davy Larmour and Tommy Armour) dating back from 1937 to 1974/75," continued the community worker.

"Mr McCullough, as I understand it, is still licensed to fight and is in the process of organising another fight very soon."

"If he has taken any offence at not being included in the mural, believe me - on behalf of the Lower Shankill Community Association and the entire community - there was absolutely no intention to offend the man."

The Shankill Road Boxing mural is situated on Hopefield Crescent.



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