Willy Collins: Traveller king's 37-ton headstone makes headlines around the world

The unveiling of what could be the UK’s biggest headstone in South Yorkshire has made headlines around the world.

Sunday, 20th March 2022, 6:57 am

This week, the family of the late Willy Collins unveiled their tribute to the bare-knuckle boxer in the form of a 37-ton monument in Shiregreen Cemetery, Sheffield.

The dad-of-nine’s grave is now marked by a sprawling monument featuring two life-sized statues of the family patriarch’s six-foot-two frame, and is crafted from solid Carrara marble from Italy.

Read More

Read More
37 ton marble tomb with jukebox, lights and flags unveiled for 'King of Sheffiel...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A 37-ton headstone unveiled in Sheffield this week on the grave of Willy Collins has made headlines across the world.

Now, the modern day mausoleum in Sheffield has made headlines across the world, with ‘Big Willy’s’ name being heard from France to Costa Rica.

After news of the unveiling broke the story on Thursday, March 17, photos of the new Sheffield landmark have been shared internationally by US Time Today, NBC, Yahoo! and MSN.

Not only that, the story has been translated into Polish, French, Spanish and Turkish.

Snaps of Shiregreen Cemetery have appeared on Polish news site Olxpraca, Costa Rica’s Zona De Prensa, Turkey’s ABC Gundem, and France’s News24.

Pictures of the huge headstone have been shared in Turkey, Poland, France, Costa Rica and the US.

The reports all share how the headstone could be the largest in the UK, with details of who Willy Collins was to the Traveller community.

Other features of the headstone include its four flagpoles and solar-powered jukebox playing the patriarch’s favourite tracks – which mourners can also connect to through Bluetooth and play their own songs.

The headstone is lit up in LED lights that change colour and is under 24-hour CCTV monitoring, which his family can also access on their phones and use to ‘speak’ to him.

Willy’s eldest daughter, Mary Collins, 30, said: “He was the best dad in the whole world.”

The headstone features two-life sized statues of the bare-knuckle boxer and a Bluetooth jukebox.