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Street Cat Bob memorial unveiled by James Bowen: Exclusive video

Only a handful of people could be there on the day to see the Street Cat Bob memorial, but you can watch James Bowen's moving tribute here.  
The Street Cat Bob memorial, with James Bowen and Big Issue seller William Herbert. Photo: Phil Gammon

A memorial to Street Cat Bob – featuring a life-size statue – has been opened in London, and The Big Issue can bring you exclusive video from the ceremony.

Bob’s best friend James Bowen unveiled the moving tribute to the cat who helped him overcome homelessness and addiction.

“This means a lot to me,” said James, addressing the small gathering of fans in Islington Green. “I know it means a lot to all of you guys. Everybody here has a story to tell about how much Bob means to them. I don’t have any way I could ever express how grateful I am to commemorate this amazing little man.”

James said that it was a “cathartic” day, adding: “Bob is forever a part of Islington. We’ve made our mark on this place. And Bob has definitely earned it. I’m proud of him.”

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Tanya Russell, the sculptor behind the tribute to Street Cat Bob, said she had been nervous about the unveiling.

“It’s such an important sculpture. It’s portraying a story that is so important to so many people,” she said.

“The fans have so much love for Bob and James. It was really important for me to try and capture the real essence of Bob.”

Due to Covid restrictions, only a handful of people were able to be there to see the Street Cat Bob memorial revealed.

Among them was Angela Binns, who said she’s been following the story of Street Cat Bob and James Bowen for years.

“I think the statue’s wonderful,” she said. “It’s a good likeness, especially the way the eyes seem to be looking straight at you. Bob had such wisdom in his eyes.”

Read more about Street Cat Bob.