ALBERT the Hereford bull made an appearance in High Town, Hereford, on Tuesday to mark the announcement of the sculptor commissioned to produce a lifesize bronze bull for the city centre.

Internationally renowned sculptor Brian Alabaster will produce the work which it is hoped will be installed by next summer.

He fought off stiff competition from a host of acclaimed artists and is now planning to spend some time getting to know his subject in order to create a piece that reflects the modern Hereford bull – and the breed’s importance to the city and county.

The piece is being funded by a private benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.

It will be sited outside the Old House in High Town following an online poll on when readers selected the spot as their favourite of three suggested.

The working party tasked with bringing the project to fruition is made up of local businesspeople and other interested parties, including the Hereford Cattle Society.

A spokesman for the group said that members were delighted Brian had accepted the commission and were very excited about the prospect of providing a lasting tribute to the breed that was the very essence of Herefordshire.

Ford Abbey 1 Albert is a former Hereford poll bull of the year, who at the age of seven-and-a-half, has now retired from the showring.

He weighs in excess of a tonne – somewhat more than the finished bronze.