A NORTH-EAST mayor has hinted at the possibility of erecting a statue in honour of Middlesbrough football legend Juninho.

The midfielder holds a special place in the hearts of Boro fans and frequently tops polls as the club’s greatest ever player.

In a tweet today, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston joked that building a life-size statue of “the little fella” would be cheap given the Brazilian international’s short stature.

The Northern Echo:

Andy Preston

He said: “Should there be a statue for Juninho? Easily the most popular Boro player of the Riverside era. If it was life size, it would only be small – so that would keep the cost down!”

Interacting with the comments that followed, Mr Preston seemed to rule out a council-funded tribute to the footballer, suggesting it could be a fan-funded venture instead.

“Sure you (can) budget for it somewhere Andy,” posted one person.

“No not us! Maybe fans could do it?,” replied the mayor.

Middlesbrough currently hosts a number of statues in honour of its famous sons such as Stan Hollis and Brian Clough but so far is yet to honour any women.

In 2016, an online poll determined that the first statue of a woman to be erected in Middlesbrough should depict former MP Ellen Wilkinson.

She served in Middlesbrough East from 1924 to 1931 and later became the first female education minister.

Mr Preston has been contacted for comment.