- Proposed mural of AFL superstar Buddy Franklin rejected
- Would be showing in Surry Hills, within walking distance of the SCG
- Franklin retired from the sport in July after a decorated career
A Sydney council has angered Swans fans after rejecting plans to create a mural of club great Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin near the SCG.
Franklin, 36, retired earlier this year and scored his 1,000th career goal in a win over Geelong in March 2022.
It was hoped that Sydney City Council would rubber stamp the mural, but councillors, led by Mayor Clover Moore, took a different view and believed it looked like a public advertisement.
They also agreed that the mural could have “adverse effects” on the surrounding heritage conservation area in Surry Hills, which is within walking distance of the Swans’ home ground.
“The development has not demonstrated design excellence (and) is considered an advertisement,” a subsequent finding said.
Pictured: An artist’s impression of the proposed Buddy Franklin mural, which was rejected by City of Sydney councilors
The Swans hoped Franklin would be recognized after a decade of service (pictured, scoring his 1,000th career goal last March)
The award caused euphoria at the SCG, with fans eager to share the moment with Franklin (pictured) in scenes that would appear on the mural.
“As such, the development is prohibited.”
The Swans released a statement about this. The adamant Franklin – who played for the Bloods between 2014 and 2023 – earned a mural, which was commissioned by advertising agency Apparition Media for a reported $5,000.
“While the Sydney Swans respect the council’s decision, it is a disappointing outcome,” a spokeswoman said.
“We believe the mural would have made a wonderful contribution to street art throughout Surry Hills.
“This mural was simply intended to pay tribute to one of the greatest players we have ever seen.”
Franklin played 354 AFL games and scored 1066 goals during nine seasons with the Hawthorn Hawks and ten years with the Swans.
He left the sport with little fanfare, saying goodbye to fans at the SCG in August, but later did not attend his own retirement press conference.
Coach John Longmire and Swans CEO Tom Harley were assigned to represent the media instead.