Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds United murals by 'Burley Banksy' painted over

Leeds United junction box Image copyright @pantsdanny
Image caption Andy McVeigh said he has painted about 40 murals in all

A Leeds United fan who paints designs on junction boxes has had 14 of his murals near Elland Road destroyed.

Andy McVeigh, known locally as Burley Banksy, said: "It's so bewildering somebody could be so nasty."

A group styling itself Leeds Residents Against Graffiti has claimed it carried out the weekend attack in an anonymous email to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

It said the group would cover "all the Leeds United slogans and badges he has painted".

Mr McVeigh, a primary school teacher from Leeds, spends his own time and money painting broadband cabinets, electricity boxes and bollards to cheer people up.

He said: "There is no message on them, I'm not covering up other people's work.

"I thought I'd do some Leeds United as a perfectly innocent thing to look at on the way to a match."

Image caption Mr McVeigh has permission to paint the designs including flowers and bright colours on some

His painted tribute to Gary Speed was one of those covered up. The late Leeds United star's 50th birthday would have been on Sunday.

"To do that on the memorial to him is just beyond my comprehension," said Mr McVeigh.

In the email the group state: "We have no interest in soccer and have nothing against Leeds United or their fans (except disinterest)."

"This 'artist', (who is clearly not of the ability or wit of Bansky himself) should be old enough and responsible enough not to indulge in his childish obsession", it adds.

Image copyright @pantsdanny
Image caption Mr McVeigh said the late footballer Gary Speed "was my era"

This is the second time some of Mr McVeigh's murals have been vandalised. Two were painted over on Elland Road a "couple of months ago", he said.

He added he had not seen the latest damage as it would be "too upsetting" and he was worried by the message.

An online funding campaign has raised about £200 to restore the street art.

Fans of Argentinean side Newell's Old Boys, one of Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa's old clubs, tweeted in support of Mr McVeigh.

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