The Manic Street Preachers bassist shells out £1,000 towards a memorial to Howard Winstone...

MANIC STREET PREACHERS bassist NICKY WIRE has donated £1,000 towards a statue of a former world boxing champion in WALES.

Wire, a noted boxing fan, has pledged the money in order to erect a memorial to Howard Winstone, a former featherweight World Champion, in Winstone’s hometown, Merthyr Tydfil. Winstone, who died last year, won the world crown in 1968, defeating the Japanese fighter Seki at the Royal Albert Hall.

John Price, chairman of the Howard Winstone Memorial Appeal, was delighted with the donation.

“We’re completely knocked out. The Manics have certainly come up trumps,” he told NME.COM.

“The band’s new album is called ‘Know Your Enemy’ but for us, this is a brilliant example of finding out who your friends are. We can’t thank them enough.”

A spokesperson for the Manics added: “There is no doubt that Howard Winstone was one of the greatest sporting figures from Wales in the 20th century, and the impact he had on his era is something that Nicky is well aware of. He had great admiration for Howard and felt compelled to contribute on behalf of the band.”

Wire achieved a lifetime ambition last month when he met legendary boxing Olympian Felix Savon following the Manics’ show in Cuba.