Driffield boxer and footballer Curtis Woodhouse says new mural in his hometown is 'a bit white' after it was criticised for lacking diversity

A boxer who grew up in Driffield has said a mural depicting local notables is “nice” but “a bit white” after calls for him to be featured on it.

The controversial mural in Driffield

Former professional footballer turned boxer Curtis Woodhouse shared his thoughts on the mural which sparked controversy after some slammed it for only featuring white people.

The sports personality, who now lives in Swanland near Hull, said he was “proud” to be from Driffield and “actually liked” the mural.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He added he did notice the lack of BAME figures depicted on it but it ultimately did not bother him.

His comments come as Driffield Town Council stated they commissioned and put up the mural in Middle Road North to celebrate local business people “ravaged” by the coronavirus pandemic.

But it added it did not intent to attract “negative publicity” after some decried what they said was a lack of diversity in the figures chosen on social media.

BAME local Kerrie Woodhouse-Dove commented that although she liked the idea, she felt it “screams welcome to our white town”.

Facebook user Sarah Wilkinson questioned Driffield Town Council’s decision not to feature the sports star, who was awarded an MBE for his services to football and boxing.

The boxer also runs the Curtis Woodhouse Elite Boxing Academy which is based in in the town and was nicknamed ‘The Driffield Destroyer’.

She commented: “He does so much for the kids in the community, yet he’s not worthy of being on your ‘Wall of Fame’.

“Was he even asked if he wanted to be apart of if, or doesn’t he fit into your nice little town?”

But Mr Woodhouse posted on his Facebook account “nobody represents me and nobody speaks for me” after becoming embroiled in the debate.

The boxer wrote: “Seem as everybody is speaking for me on different sites across the internet I suppose begrudgingly I better speak for myself!

“It’s pretty quick and pretty basic but when I saw it I thought ah that looks nice, it’s a bit white though! I then just got on with the rest of my day. The end!

“Today I’m trying to sort out my horrendous internet connection! That offends me more than a painting!

“Bin Laden can get four bars from a cave in Afghanistan and I can’t get one bar sat next to the router in Swanland.

“You have the choice to be offended by anything you choose to be offended by. I’m very lucky that I work with absolutely everybody, all creeds, all colours, all religions and get on with everybody because that’s what I choose to do!

“I actually like the painting, it brightens up the area. I’m very proud to be born and raised in Driffield, Northfield Crescent’s finest!

“One race, the human race.”