A BRONZE statue of the author of the James Herriot books is to be created by a sculptor following a bequest from a fan of the famous literary vet.

Sean Hedges-Quinn, who has immortalised football manager Sir Bobby Robson and whose statue of Dad’s Army character Captain Mainwaring received critical acclaim, has been commissioned to work on a life-size portrayal of vet Alf Wight standing with a dog.

The artwork will take a year to complete and will be displayed in the garden of Mr Wight’s former veterinary surgery in Kirkgate, Thirsk, overlooking the World of James Herriot museum.

Thomas Blinks, a life member of the Friends of James Herriot who lived in East Sussex, left the museum funds in his will, with the sculpture expected to cost £60,000.

A £35,000 fundraising appeal has already received donations from as far afield as the US.

More information is at worldofjamesherriot.org