THE Ted Bates Trust have revealed their "distress" at the negative response to the £112,000 statue of the Saints legend.

They claim they have not been"able to sleep or eat or do anything since the statue was unveiled" on Saturday night.

And they have also hit out at criticism levelled their way by fans who claim the committee members should have told sculptor Ian Brennan the statue was not a decent likeness of Bates before it was unveiled.

"We have not tried to pull the wool over anyone's eyes," said a spokesman for the Trust.

Trust officials - including chairman Dave Ford and Janet Formby - were shown two pictures of Ted Bates' head on Friday, March 9.

The spokesman added: "We defy anyone to say that the pictures we saw were not Ted Bates".

"We have not tried to pull the wool over anyone's eyes.

"That is what we saw and what we thought we would see when the statue was unveiled".

Full story: See today's Daily Echo.