Giant gravestone with jukebox, LEDs and camera to ‘talk’ to tragic dad-of-nine
A 37-tonne gravestone equipped with a jukebox, LED lights and a camera has been erected to honour a dad-of-nine who passed away two years ago.
Willy Collins, known to many as ‘Big Willy’ Collins, 49, died in July 2020 after collapsing while on holiday with his family in Majorca, Spain.
The dad-of-nine was the patriarch of the Collins family, having 15 siblings and around 400 nieces and nephews.
After a 20-month effort, a new city landmark was unveiled in his hometown of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on Thursday (March 17) to honour the bare-knuckle boxer, often dubbed the 'King of Sheffield'.
Willy’s grave is now marked by a 37-tonne monument, complete with two life-sized statues of his frame, in what can only be described as a modern-day mausoleum.
The monument and statues are crafted from solid Carrara marble imported from Italy.
Other features also include four flagpoles, depictions of Jesus Christ and biblical scenes, as well as a solar-powered jukebox.
The headstone is lit up in LED lights that change colour and is under 24-hour CCTV surveillance, with a camera which allows the deceased's family to "speak" to him.
The patriarch’s eldest daughter, Mary, told the Sheffield Star: “It’s a sad day but it’s also a way to show the world what he meant to us.
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“Our father was a family man and he means the world to us – he still means the world to us. We’ve given him everything we’ve got and he deserves it.”
She added: “My brothers and my family have worked hard to make this. We all knew what we wanted to happen. It grew and grew and grew. It’s been a long 20-month journey.
“It’s going to be nice to relax and we now have somewhere where we can meet and talk about him and for others to remember him.
“He was my best friend. Not a day goes by where we all don’t think of him.”
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