Opportunistic York grad bags coveted Willow sign

He used a ladder, a wrench and some rope to remove it

Everyone likes a souvenir – but one York reveller was willing to go to extreme lengths for a keepsake from the legendary Willow Disco.

Electronic engineering grad Stephen Harper took the opportunity to grab the sign for himself after the Willow Twitter account declared it up for grabs.

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He said: “They posted on their Twitter that the sign was free for anyone, at their own risk – I’m too competitive to not take that challenge up.

“I went into town and went upstairs to ask them if they were sure I could take it.

“Then I sat in Starbucks for a while trying to source a ladder, some wrenches and some rope.

“I got a few friends to help me carry the ladder over from James Street and I ended up on Coney Street, grabbing a bit of York memorabilia for myself.”

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Stephen says he queued up for three hours to get in on the club’s closing night, but once he was inside it was “amazing”.

The acquisition of the sign was the cherry on top of Stephen’s farewell to Willow – so any aspiring buyers are out of luck.

“It’s going to stay in my bedroom – it’s not for sale at all”, he says: “I’m considering hiring it out, but I’d want it insured heavily against any potential damages or loss.”

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Being Willow’s biggest fan, we asked Stephen if he’d be bidding on a can of Fosters from Willow’s closing party which has surfaced on eBay.

The can, which purports to be “The Last Ever Willow Fosters”, is on sale for a cool £26 – and has already picked up 19 bids in a single day.

Stephen said: “I don’t drink so the Fosters can is of no interest to me.

“I’m pretty set for memorabilia at the moment so I think I’ll leave that for other people anyway.”

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As for the petition to knock down the Parliament Street fountain and replace it with a statue of Willow legend Tommy Fong, Stephen has a better idea.

He said: “I don’t see why we need to knock it down – why can’t we change it so it’s a fountain of Tommy Fong pouring out a bottle of tequila or something? You don’t need to destroy things to make them grow.”

Someone should tell that to whoever closed down Willow.

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University of York sign stephen harper theft tommy fong willow york