Putting his best foot forward for the project is Richard Caborn, one of South Yorkshire’s best known figures, who is helping to raise funds for what will be an iconic 32 metres high stainless steel structure overlooking the M1 motorway between Rotherham and Sheffield.
The former Trade and Industry Minister and Sports Minister, aged 73, will be taking part in this year’s Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield on April 9 to raise funds for the gateway to Yorkshire project which will dominate the skyline between Tinsley and Kimberworth.
The structure, including an observation tower, will be built on a former landfill site near Junction 34. It will honour the people and the places that forged a legacy as well as highlighting the new technologies and specialised manufacturing helping to transform the region.
“It’s in my DNA to support the symbolic Yorkshire Man of Steel,” said Mr Caborn, whose career, like his father and grandfather before him, started out in the local steel industry.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to be involved in an iconic project that will benefit generations of families. I did an engineering apprenticeship at Firth Brown back in 1959 and the skills we had then are very much alive today, only more so.
“This region is renowned all over the world for the quality of our manufacturing and engineering excellence, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre where I am personally involved. The Yorkshire Man of Steel will represent the men and women that built the reputation we are so proud of today.
“I will be running the half marathon to raise funds to help the project become reality, added Richard, who will be running in his 16th Sheffield event and was photographed alongside a four-metre-high model of the Yorkshire Man of Steel at the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley.
Steve Mehdi, the inspiration for the Yorkshire Man of Steel, said: “Richard’s been a champion of the Yorkshire Man of Steel for a long time and when he offered to run the Plusnet Yorkshire half marathon to help raise further funds I thought it was a fantastic idea. We want everyone to get behind him on race day and add their support by going to our Just Giving page; The Steel Man.”