‘Long, but not forgotten’ fundraising begins for £10,000 Long Boi memorial statue

Almost £2,000 has already been raised.

Almost £3,000 has already been raised.

Fundraising has begun for a “fitting tribute” for Long Boi, one of the University of York’s most famous campus resident, Long Boi, after it was announced that the duck was presumed to have died earlier this month.

The York Uni Students’ Union has launched a campaign for a statue to commemorate Long Boi, hoping to raise £10,000 for a memorial statue.

If you were unfamiliar with the social media sensation that was Long Boi, he’s not only well-known among the York student community, but he’s probably considered to be one of the most well-known ducks in the world.

When photos of Long Boi were shared social media in May 2021, they went viral shortly after, and the new star was then featured on TV and radio broadcasts all around the world.

The ‘statue for his longthness’ is the end target, but the YUSU announced that the following goals had been made to remember Long Boi with a fitting tribute.

  • Under £1,000 – a donation to a good cause within the university
  • £1,000 – £2,000 – a memorial bench with a plaque in Long Boi’s memory
  • Over £2,000 – a bespoke statue of Long Boi to be installed on campus

At present, £2,887 has been raised, but the statue fundraising page, announcing:

“It is with the greatest sadness that we have had to announce the passing of the most cherished member of the York community, our beloved Long Boi.”

“For many, Long Boi was much more than just a very long duck or just another University mascot. His 2’4” brought a smile to all of us, allowing us to see that it was okay to be a bit different, and for that, we miss him already. He adorns our merch, features on our social media, and is a cornerstone of the community – his loss will be widely felt and we know he can never be replaced.”

“He was loved by all and a true celebrity, rubbing shoulders (or necks) with the likes of James Corden and Greg James. His Royal Löngthness was the King of Campus West, the ruler of the lake, the pride and joy of students. Although Long Boi became a pop cult icon for many, his popularity also brought into the mainstream the importance of looking after our animal neighbours on campus and protecting wildlife.”

You can donate to the Long Boi memorial here.

About Long Boi

Standing at a proud and impressive 70cm tall, the duck was originally spotted towering above all the others in the pond back in 2019, and was subsequently given the nickname he would be known by, ‘Long Boi’, as went on to become an attraction at the University of York.

Long Boi the duck.
Image: Long Boi (via Instagram)

He amassed more than 60,000 followers on Instagram, and even had his own line of merch.

But sadly, after sightings became slim, Long Boi was declared missing in mid-March 2023, and despite search parties looking long and hard for him over the last two months, the University of York was forced to issue an official statement yesterday that they “conclude he has passed away”.

In an official statement, a university spokesperson said: “Following a period of almost two months without a confirmed sighting of Long Boi, we are today forced to conclude that he has passed away.

Image: Long Boi (via Instagram)

“We appreciate this is not the resolution that many people were wishing for, but hope that acknowledging his passing allows us to focus on celebrating his life and commemorating the time he spent with us.”

The admin of the famous Long Boi Instagram said it had been “an absolute pleasure” to run the account over the last four years and to “see the joy” he brought to university students, staff, and visitors who loved to meet, feed, and photograph him on campus.

“The impact that Long Boi has had on our duck-loving community here in York has been incredible to witness,” a tribute on Long Boi’s Instagram reads.

“Walking across campus, you’ll always spot a group of students looking for Long Boi, his image adorns our student society logos, merch and advertising, and he has even become an unofficial mascot of the University itself.

“Whether going to feed Long Boi as a well-earned stress relief during exam season, or awaiting his lighthearted Instagram updates through times of uncertainty and lockdowns, Long Boi has always brought a smile to his fans and friends.

“Long Boi will always be remembered by those who knew and loved him.”

The spokesperson confirmed that the University is “working on plans to organise a fitting tribute to Long Boi”, but asked that people feed ducks or make a charitable donation in Long Boi’s, memory instead of leaving flowers on campus.

Details about Long Boi’s memorial will be “confirmed in due course”, the University concluded.

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Featured Image – Long Boi (via Instagram)

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