The Spirit of Sport is a tribute to Bolton's sporting community. The stainless steel structure is approximately 30 metres tall and is covered with etched images of 600 sportsmen and women, coaches, backroom staff and volunteers from the local area. It is intended to be a snapshot of sport in the borough, representing elite as well as amateur sport from Bolton's past, present and future.
The Spirit of Sport is the largest piece of public art in the UK to be developed through public consultation. Local sporting heroes were nominated to appear on the sculpture by their clubs and associations in recognition of their lasting contribution to sport. Names were collected through appeals in the Bolton Evening News and by Bolton Council, and photographs were taken of participants in sporting activities around the borough.
The sculpture is a symbol of Bolton's grassroots sporting network. It demonstrates the town's appreciation of the contribution of all its citizens to the sporting community and is designed to show Bolton's commitment to encouraging participation and building a healthy future for its residents.
The sculpture was commissioned by Bolton Council and designed by Eaton Waygood Associates. It was installed in December 2005.