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Costa immortalised in heart of Geelong

December 6, 2023 12:10 pm in by
Joel Selwood, Trent Sullivan, Shirley Costa, Robert Costa (brother), Rory Costelloe (Geelong Authority + Villawood). (Image: Geelong Broadcasters).

A statue immortalising Geelong philanthropist and former Cats President Frank Costa AO, has been unveiled on the corner of Ryrie and Moorabool streets in Geelong.

The bronze depiction of a young Costa holding aloft a newspaper outside the T&G Building, is a tribute to his early life selling newspapers on the corner.

The newspaper being held aloft features the Herald front page depicting Geelong’s 1951 Grand Final victory over Essendon, depicting how more than 85,000 people watched the Cats claim
its fourth premiership by 11 points.

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Frank Costa depicted as a 13-year-old, holding The Herald front page about Geelong’s 1951 Grand Final victory over Essendon links to his lifelong dedication to the Cats and crucial role as President (1998-2010) when Frank’s business sense elevated and united the club. (Image: Geelong Broadcasters).

Members of Franks family including brother Robert, wife Shirley and their daughters were there to mark the unveiling, along with Mayor Trent Sullivan and Cats legend Joel Selwood.

Geelong Authority member and Villawood Executive Director Rory Costelloe was also in attendance, after approaching Council with the idea to create the memorial.

Joel Selwood and Trent Sullivan unveil the statue outside the T&G Building. (Video: Geelong Broadcasters).

“The T&G corner is where dad began his entrepreneurial journey, so this statue is not only a lovely way to remember him and the big part he played in Geelong as an employer, visionary and champion of growth,” Frank’s daughter Gillian said.

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“It also illustrates a moment of Geelong’s past in such a lovely way that residents and visitors alike can relate to and enjoy,” she said.

Frank Costa celebrates the 2009 AFL Grand Final win with Cats fans at Kardinia Park. (Image: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.)

Selwood said at the unveiling that he was excited to see the former footy club President immortalised.

“When I think of Frank Costa I not only reflect on all he’s achieved as a President, but a humble custodian of the Geelong Footy Club,” he said.

“But all that, he achieved beyond the walls of the stadium.

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“He was an iconic figure in the region, generous, authentic and a fierce advocate for the community.”

The statue created by artist and sculptor Louis Laumen took six months to complete and was funded by the City of Greater Geelong, the Costa family, Costelloe and the Geelong Cats.

The celebrated sculptor has completed many iconic statues across Australia, such as the Dennis Lillee statue at the MCG and Nicky Winmar at Perth Stadium.

Costa died from cancer in May 2021, aged 83-years-old.

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