Mural celebrates inspirational journey of Scottish cycling legend

Date: 
Tuesday, 8 June, 2021


An inspirational tribute to a Scottish cycling legend has been officially unveiled at the gateway to the Campsie Fells.Robert Millar mural

A huge mural of Robert Millar has been painted on the gable end of a building owned by Campsie Golf Club at Crow Road, Lennoxtown.

Millar was crowned 'King of the Mountains' in the 1984 Tour de France, the first time a British rider had won a major Tour classification, and finished second in the 1987 Giro d’Italia - again being named 'King of the Mountains'.

Millar's incredible stamina and skills were honed with training rides in the challenging splendour of the Campsies.

The historic achievements of the inspirational athlete - unsurpassed for decades - have now been immortalised thanks to a project funded by East Dunbartonshire Council and closely involving Philippa York, who previously competed as Robert Millar.

Philippa's incredible journey extends well beyond cycling glory. She is a successful Scottish journalist, writer and trailblazer.

Philippa said, "I love it. It's a really striking piece of work and full credit to Rogue Oner for capturing the essence of the moment.

"When I wanted an extra hard finish to a training ride then I'd include a visit to the Campsies and a climb of the Crow Road before heading back into Glasgow, so for the mural to be placed at the foot of the climb is rather fitting.

"I think, or at least hope, people will see it as inspirational. Cycling can be for pleasure, fitness, travel or sporting competition, but the important message is that it is accessible to everyone."

The mural was created by talented Scottish artist Rogue Oner (aka Bobby McNamara) and joins an incredible portfolio, which includes a number of stunning murals throughout Glasgow.

Tribute has been paid to Campsie Golf Club, which owns the building hosting the mural, for its support.

The idea for the project came from Drew Wilson, owner of VisualBikeFit, himself a successful cyclist who represented Scotland at three Commonwealth Games.

It was supported by Councillor Stewart MacDonald and nurtured over the last two years by Depute Provost and local ward councillor Gary Pews, who ensured the project partners remained in contact and strongly backed a tribute.

Campsie Community Council and East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust have also been involved, and the mural has been well received by the cycling fraternity and local community.

Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Leader of the Council, said, "We're delighted to officially unveil this stunning tribute to a genuine sporting legend. Philippa is an inspiration and this mural will help to encourage people of all ages to follow their own paths to success and happiness."

Councillor Andrew Polson, Joint Leader of the Council, added, "The work of art is already proving popular with cyclists and non-cyclists alike, and will help to attract visitors to the area - boosting the local economy. Well done to all involved in bringing this project to fruition."

The mural is based on a photograph by Graham Watson.

Philippa York (born Robert Millar) is a Scottish journalist and former professional road racing cyclist.

Millar is regarded as one of Britain’s most successful professional cyclists of all time, having won the King of the Mountains competition in the 1984 Tour de France, while finishing fourth overall.

This marked the first time a British rider had won a major Tour classification, and remained unsurpassed until Bradley Wiggins placed third nearly 20 years later in the 2009 Tour de France.

Additionally, Millar finished second in the 1987 Giro d’Italia, while also claiming the King of the Mountains classification.

Again, this earned Millar the distinction of being the highest finishing British rider in the history of the Italian Grand Tour, until Chris Froome won the race in 2018.

For more information, visit http://www.robertmillar.net/

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Pictured (from left): John Coyne (Campsie Golf Club), Cllr Vaughan Moody, artist Bobby McNamara (Rogue Oner), Philippa York, Drew Wilson (VisualBikeFit) and Cllr Andrew Polson.