COUNTDOWN TO ERIC: Breakfast TV icon Nick Owen talks about Eric Morecambe statue

Nick Owen with his TV-AM partner Anne Diamond.
Nick Owen with his TV-AM partner Anne Diamond.
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Eric Morecambe always used to look out for the results of two football teams – Luton Town and Morecambe.

So the comedian would surely have been delighted to see his two favourite sides play each other this Saturday (December 13) just 48 hours after the statue returns home.

Eric Morecambe at Elland Road football club just before presenting Don Revie with a Manager of the Month award of a bottle of whisky. Photo by Andrew Varley.

Eric Morecambe at Elland Road football club just before presenting Don Revie with a Manager of the Month award of a bottle of whisky. Photo by Andrew Varley.

And our Eric would have been even more chuffed that the winning team will not just earn three valuable League Two points, but also receive the brand new Eric Morecambe Trophy, a piece of unique silverware created by the statue sculptor Graham Ibbeson.

A famous face from TV, now chairman of Luton Town, is in no doubt that this will be a special occasion.

Nick Owen, famed for his breakfast television double act with Anne Diamond, idolises our Eric.

A lifelong fan of Luton, Nick interviewed the great man just weeks before he died in 1984 and cherishes those memories.

“I’m a massive Eric Morecambe fan and I met him a couple of times,” said the former TV-AM star, now 67, who is still presenting with local news show BBC Midlands Today.

“He was such a nice man and a laugh a minute. But I have mixed feelings because within 40 days of our last interview, he died. It was one of the last interviews he gave.

“Since then I’ve got to know his son Gary very well. He comes to games. We also have an Eric Morecambe Lounge (at Kenilworth Road, home of Luton Town). It’s like a shrine to him with some fabulous pictures. Eric is a much-loved figure at our football club.”

Nick will be at Saturday’s game on his first ever visit to Morecambe, and hopes to make it down to the Promenade to see the restored statue in person.

“Hopefully the Luton team will also make a point of making a little detour to pay homage to the statue on their way into Morecambe,” he said.

“Gary texted me very soon after (the vandalism) to say how upset he was. I’m glad the statue has been repaired so quickly.”

Nick is particularly looking forward to hearing Eric’s signature tune ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ at the Globe Arena, because it’s also the ring tone on his mobile!