A HIGHLAND League football club has gone viral on social media after unveiling a controversial William Wallace statue at its ground.

Brechin City have installed the so-called “Freedom” sculpture – based on a likeness of Mel Gibson in Braveheart – at Glebe Park.

The artwork, officially called the Spirit of Wallace, was created by local man Tom Church and has long sparked debate.

It was targeted by vandals during a decade at the Wallace Monument in Stirling before being put into storage for several years.

The statue has now found a new home at Glebe Park, with Brechin City unveiling the new landmark in a ceremony on Sunday.

STV newsreader and Brechiner Andrea Brymer was invited to the do the honours in front of a small crowd at the stadium.

The club said: “The sun and crowds came out for a fantastic day to honour the craftsmanship of Brechiner Tommy Church and it was brilliant to see the community of all ages turn out in numbers to support the event.”

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However, the sculpture has once again sparked debate among the public, with many onlookers less than impressed.

Actor Iain Robertson commented: “This statue used to be at the foot of the Wallace monument – & I think they had to encase it, because folk kept damaging it. Probably because it’s an awful statue in so very many ways!”

Former BBC journalist Hasan Patel wrote: “Arguably the worst statue I have seen but it is getting a lot of traction so kudos to the person who designed it.”

Former Better Together chief Blair McDougall added: “The thing I love about this nomadic unwanted statue is that it’s *not* a statue of Wallace. It’s a statue of Mel Gibson.”

Others seemed to see the statue in a different light.

“Absolutely fantastic,” Twitter user Paul Kitson wrote.

John McDougall added: “He looks happy to be there. Can he play centre half?”

Journalist Otto English, with just a hint of sarcasm, replied: “It is a classic. We'd miss it if it was lost to us.”

Let us know what you think of the artwork in the comments.