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‘Sheffield is the home of football, so where is city’s public art inspired by the beautiful game?’

Sheffield is famed for its creativity and for its role in forging the beautiful game, which should be the perfect marriage.

But despite the city teeming with public art, from giant murals to bold modernist sculptures, there is little if any celebrating it as the birthplace of modern football.

The Khaki Cup on display at Sheffield United's Legends of the Lane museum

The Khaki Cup on display at Sheffield United's Legends of the Lane museum

READ MORE: FA Cup coming to Sheffield as part of major football exhibition celebrating city’s role as ‘crucible’ of modern game

Campaigners behind the Sheffield Home of Football movement, who are fighting for Sheffield to make more of the city’s proud sporting heritage, believe it’s time for that to change.

John Wilson, from the University of Sheffield, said: “There’s lots of public art in Sheffield but very little about sport and nothing to do with football, which is bizarre given the city’s role in the origins of the game.

“We need statues in the city celebrating our footballing past and present, which could become part of a sculpture trail.

John Wilson in Sheffield United's Legends of the Lane museum

John Wilson in Sheffield United's Legends of the Lane museum

READ MORE: Sheffield's World Cup stars 'have helped put city on map as home of football'

“Some of the funds coming into the city to promote culture and tourism should be spent on this, because it could bring big benefits.”

Mr Wilson, who worked on a walking app guiding users on a pilgrimage of Sheffield’s footballing landmarks, claimed such football-themed artwork could help raise the city’s profile both nationally and internationally as the home of the sport, boosting tourism.

And he said the powers that be were finally waking up to the value of promoting Sheffield's sporting history, which could also be harnessed to support education and health within the city.

READ MORE: The home of football, three World Cup semi-finalists, an Olympic Legacy Park but Sheffield ranked as FOURTH greatest sporting city in Yorkshire

He was speaking at the latest meeting of the Sheffield Home of Football team, which includes representatives from the Blades, the Owls, Hallam FC and the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC.

They are organising a major footballing exhibition, where a copy of the 1858 Sheffield Rules - described as the ‘holy grail’ which gave rise to the game as we know it - will go on public display for the first time.

They will be on view alongside the FA Cup trophy and many of Sheffield's numerous sporting gems, from the world's first knockout football trophy, the Youdan Cup, to the ball with which Brian Deane scored the first ever Premier League goal.

READ MORE: Seeking out Sheffield's hidden public art

Members of the public have also been invited to share their footballing memorabilia and memories, which will be recorded to build an oral history of the game in the city.

The Sheffield Football Treasures exhibition will take place at Sheffield Central Library on Thursday, October 25, from 10.30am-2.30pm, and entry will be free.