THE friends and family of James Murray are on course to unveil a statue of the boxer in October, a year after he died.

There are plans for a bronze life-size statue, showing the young fighter in his boxing pose, to be erected in the centre of his home village of Newmains, Lanarkshire.

Committee members of the James Murray Memorial Fund have already raised #10,000 towards the cost.

Fund-raisers recently met three Glasgow-based sculptors to discuss the project. All that is now required is planning permission from the council, and some additional funding.

Ms Ann Macey, secretary of the fund, said: ``Once we get the planning permission it's all systems go.

``We have met with three sculptors and will announce who will make the statue once we have the permission to go ahead with everything.

``The statue will go where the old clock used to be. There's a little garden there which will be used as a memorial garden.''

She said another #6000 was required.

``We hope to get the remainder of the cash from local businesses. It really is a tremendous tribute to Jim and one that the whole of Newmains will be able to appreciate.''

The Scottish champion collapsed and died last October seconds from the end of the British bantamweight title bout against Drew Docherty at Glasgow's Hospitality Inn.

Doctors at Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, removed a blood clot from the 25-year-old boxer's brain but he never regained consciousness.

Since his death, his friends and family have dedicated their spare time to raising the cash which would fund a fitting tribute.

His brother David, 27, said: ``When I saw the work that was presented by all three sculptors I was stunned. They were all so life-like and it brought back a lot of memories.

``One of the sculptors had made a head and shoulders likeness of Jim and it was brilliant.

``She asked me if I wanted to keep it and I said I would. It was such a nice thought.

``We'd really like to thank everyone, including the sculptors, for their time, effort, and support in putting this all together.

``If we can get the statue erected by October, a year after Jim's death, then that would be fantastic. It would be the most fitting tribute of all.''