Widow of ‘King of Sheffield’ traveller threatens ‘war’ if headstone removed

The widow of the ‘King of Sheffield’ says "there's going to be war" if his huge 37-tonne memorial is torn down.

Sheffield bare-knuckle boxer William Collins was a much loved and talented bare-knuckle boxer who tragically lost his life while on holiday in Majorca aged just 49 years old in July 2020.

A 37-tonne marble monument has since been erected in Shiregreen Cemetery, to pay tribute to the dad-of-nine, and also features a jukebox, multiple statues and even LED lights.

But the resting place has come under fire and his widow Kathleen Collins, 49, claims there is racism behind protests against the massive monument due to William being a leading figure in the traveller community.

Speaking to MailOnline, Kathleen said: 'The council have raised concerns because members of the public have been hounding them to complain about it.

"There's a lot of racism and jealousy involved because Willy was a famous traveller who was known all over Sheffield.

"There have been vicious comments on social media from those who hate the traveller community and they have left the whole family feeling very hurt and angry.

  • Dozens of travellers have set up camp outside all-night casino only to find it's closed

"People are threatening to pull the monument down or damage it while the Council is saying we may have to change it, but if that happens, there's going to be war.

"It's going to cause very, very bad riots if they take my husband's headstone down. I am warning the public and the council, don't touch the beautiful monument we have put up to remember my darling Willy.

"Everybody knew and loved Willy but like any couple, we had our issues over the years. Even though we were together, most of the years we were separated, but we always remained good friends."

  • Family of 'King of Sheffield' traveller vows to draft in security to guard huge memorial

"We kept things private because we come from the travelling community. When weddings and funerals came along, we'd always go as husband and wife."

Sheffield City Council said the monument differs from the one submitted and approved in the planning application.

A council spokesperson said: "Sheffield City Council approved plans for a memorial; however, the plans which were submitted and approved differ from the memorial now in place.

  • Pilot reveals worst time to fly for nervous travellers as there's 'bumpier air'

"This was not fully appreciated until after the structure was fully unveiled.

"We have reached out to the family and intend to discuss changes which need to be made in order to satisfy the cemetery rules and take into consideration, other cemetery users.

"It would not be appropriate to discuss the details further as this is a sensitive matter and we wish to speak with the family fully in the coming days."

To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

Source: Read Full Article