Buddy Franklin Sydney Swans mural tribute near SCG rejected by City council

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The Sydney Swans have expressed their disappointment after a planned mural for retired champion Lance “Buddy” Franklin was rejected by the City of Sydney.

Franklin retired last season after 354 games and 1066 goals in the AFL with Hawthorn and the Swans.

The planned $5000 mural would commemorate his 1,000th goal, reports The Daily Telegraph, a milestone he reached in a famous moment at the SCG in round two, 2022 against Geelong.

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Franklin shares the four-figure goalscoring milestone with only five other players in the history of the competition, including another former Swan, Tony Lockett.

A number of murals can already be found throughout Sydney, including those by Adam Goodes and some of the greats from Sydney Roosters.

An image of the proposed Buddy Franklin mural in Surry Hills, Sydney.Source: News Corp Australia

The Franklin image was planned for a blank wall on the side of a three-storey house in Surry Hills, at the junction of South Dowling and Fitzroy Streets, right on the border of the Moore Park complex and a short walk from the SCG .

The plans were submitted earlier this year but were rejected by the City of Sydney Council, which branded the proposal as “unsympathetic” to the local streetscape and stated it could have “adverse impacts” on the surrounding heritage conservation area.

“The development has not demonstrated design excellence (and) is considered an advertisement,” the finding said.

“As such, the development is prohibited.”

The iconic moment when Franklin scored his 1,000th career goal. Photo by Phil HillyardSource: supplied
Franklin, one of the Swans’ most popular players ever, retired at the end of last season. (Photo by Matt King/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

It will come as no surprise that the Swans are far from happy with the decision not to pay tribute to one of the Swans’ best players and an athlete loved by most sports fans in the city.

“While the Sydney Swans respect the council’s decision, it is a disappointing outcome,” a Sydney Swans spokeswoman said.

“We believe the mural would have made a wonderful contribution to street art throughout Surry Hills.

“This mural was simply intended to pay tribute to one of the greatest players we have ever seen.”

Advertising company Apparition Media had proposed the idea, with the image to show the moment the SCG was flooded with thousands of fans to celebrate Franklin’s rare milestone.

“It is this powerful image that we want to bring to life in a public mural, inspiring future generations and demonstrating the extraordinary rewards of hard work and perseverance,” the plans say.

The location of the proposed Buddy Franklin mural in Surry Hills, Sydney.Source: News Corp Australia

“Given the site’s proximity to Moore Park and the home of the Sydney Swans, the proposed mural is appropriate and relevant as Sydney AFL supporters will often travel past.”

Jordan Horsell, who runs a Swans Supporters page on Facebook, said he was shocked by the council’s refusal.

“I think the fans would have loved it and it would have enhanced the gaming experience,” he said.

“It would have been a great work of art.”

The council’s decision comes after mixed feedback about the mural was received in submissions from Surry Hills residents, with one local saying: “Why on earth do we need more giant murals of male athletes?”

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