A giant effigy of Lance Armstrong will be burned in Edenbridge, Kent on Saturday as part November 5 bonfire night celebrations.

The Edenbridge Bonfire Society selected Armstrong in the wake of a damning U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that saw the American stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

The 31ft, steel-frame structure shows a caricature of Armstrong holding a poster that reads, “For sale, racing bike, no longer required” as well as a necklace reading “Jim fixed it for me”, which is a reference to disgraced television identity Jimmy Savile.

“We had a shortlist which included Jimmy Savile but it was decided it would not be nice to use him as a lot of children attend the bonfire and they might start asking their parents questions,” Society co-ordinator Charles Laver told The Telegraph.

“Then we had George Osborne but he hasn’t really got a face that everyone knows and he’s just a chap in a suit. We felt he would be a bit boring.

“We started to do Abu Hamza but then we decided we weren’t entirely happy to do him, so Lance Armstrong came out of the woodwork.

“He’s better because he’s brighter… We’re very pleased with it.”

A 30ft Lance Armstrong in a field in Edenbridge, Kent. Picture Andrew Hassons / Rex Features

  • Rob Whitehead

    @ John (November 04 19:38)

    Evidently. Better to have no sense of humour than a twisted and distorted one…


  • John

    Get a grip people, this is just a bit of fun … it’s a tradition in this town, they chose people who are in focus in the news at the time … this year it happened to be LA, last year it was a footballer, previously, Blair etc etc … ; evidently cyclists have ZERO sense of humour!

  • Richard

    Pretty appalling taste, whatever people think of Lance Armstrong he doesn’t really deserve to be associated with Saville. Check out the Edenbridge Bonfire society and decide whether village idiots have an opinion about our great sport. Nuff said!

  • Rob Whitehead

    @ tel zee truath

    I’ve read Tyler’s book. How does this or the USADA report justify using Armstrong’s name with a paedophile and burning him (in a fashion) at the stake? I don’t like what has happened either (and I’m not an LA fanboy; incidentally, my favourite rider was Robert Millar) but we are were we are and things like this are just a) disrespectful and b) do nothing for the sport.

    What a strange world we live in.


  • DPJ

    VERY VERY Poor taste

  • Patrick

    I’m British and live in kent and love it! It’s just a bit of fun and maybe what we all need in today’s climate. After all there not burning the real one are they! Only thing is I wouldn’t have give him a badge as 2 separate issues and lance shouldn’t be associated with that.yes he has done a lot for charity but he has cheated as well, what about people who came 2nd and 3rd and didn’t cheat?

  • Ken Evans

    Burn, baby burn !


    Pity it isn’t the real thing! B****Y man has hurt cycling and that is sad especially after the brilliant year G.B. has had. Thank you Bradley Wiggens for the Tour win and thank Team Sky for your stand against the druggies.

  • gary

    If you think this man is a cheat or not to burn someone at the stake without any hard proof is just wrong. And to put him in the same contects as someone as discusting as jimmy savelle is dicusting and does not say very much about the people doing it. I would much rather stand by a cheat than someone like that.

  • beano

    very bad taste leave lance alone the guys still a hero in my eyes

  • JbigdogSTRNGR

    Lance Armstrong may have used ‘bullying’ tactics, he may (or may not) have been a cheat.. even if he was he is STILL one of the greatest athletes who has ever lived! Doping or not, he was still the best! Black and white thinking is how the minds of people who burn effigies work!
    I’m still amazed at the unbelievably poor taste of this ridiculous effigy burning.. and the Saville thing..WTF! The people doing this are complete IDIOTS! I urge everyone in Edenbridge to boycott the event or if you can be bothered, make a complaint to the appropriate people..

  • Woody

    He never even failed a drug test.
    Apart from the cortisone one.
    And the one that got covered up in Switzerland.

  • K Edwards

    Should have been Savile, he’s the one who should burn, kids are more aware of what is going on with the media highlighting events in every way. What a despicable lesson for kids to watch someone who has yet to defend himself. He has (or is) an icon, Armstrong has given us some enjoyable years of racing. Who came out of the woodwork to come to this decision? May Edenbridge regret this for a very long time. What is wrong with burning the usual Guy Fawkes may I ask? I was proud to say I was British perhaps I will exclude Kent on second thoughts.

  • Charles Gook

    Remember, Lance is not ACTUALLY being burnt at the stake. Also, he cannot be ‘one the world’s greatest ever athletes of all time’ – he is a bullying cheat. The top echelons of cycling have known about this for years but the consensus has been cleverly created (through fear of reprisal, omerta, ‘its always gone on’ attitude) so that it has not been talked about but accepted. For non-cycling fans the message is clear, – cheats never prosper. The link with Saville is not pleasant but I agree the similarities are marked; massive charity work, ‘I’ve never been caught so am innocent’, top brass knowing and most importantly the bad eggs can fool anyone into thinking black is white. Cycling should be celebrating the end of an era.

  • John

    There doesn’t seem to be much difference between Lance and Savile. Both hid behind their charity work. Both had a very dirty secret.

    As bad as it is for cycling as it is now, with the likes of Wiggins having to pick up the pieces of others infractions, it’s what cycling needs. There’s been far too many missed opportunities for cycling; too many false dawns. Festina, Landis, Contador. They were all the warnings that cycling wasn’t as healthy as we’d like to believe it was.

    But Lance duped all of us. We all believed in him, and cycling. That’s why this cut is so deep.

    We need a clearing out of all those who’ve been involved with doping. There’s too many who have hidden their past now training the next generation of stars. Thankfully with some teams that’s exactly what’s happening. We also need to remove those riders who are in denial of their previous convictions.

    I’d only make one exception: David Miller. He’s admitted to what he did, and more importantly was honest about the reasons why he did it. Since then he’s been one of leading lights in showing how you can race cleanly. He’s seen both sides, and that may make him one of the most qualified persons to take the UCI forward.

  • jonp

    last observation – should’nt that pendant read ‘Hein and pat fixed it for me’

  • Jules

    This is exceptionaly poor taste. I hope it rains.

  • Pat Goff

    This is a new low in appalling bad taste. .
    Surely this is trading to the lowest of the low , not funny not functional and tasteless ,cheap and nasty .

  • Nooney

    How sad and cruel, 1 to link him with Saville who’s crimes were against children, and 2 to kick someone who is down and has children of which who may see all this negative media and wonder why there father is associated with a person who has nothing in common with the crimes of a pedophile.

    Shame on the organisers, who have sunk lower than Armstrong ever did, to gain some cheap publicity for an otherwise mundane bonfire display, and more shame on any cyclist who attends regardless of there thoughts on the Armstrong affair, Cycling has already been dragged through the mud once again, now they want to highlight our problems even more by lighting a beacon for all the none cycling world to see, for cheap publicity, while the rest of us who love the sport try to explain to the none cyclist in a hope to repair the damage done, it is a sport for the future generations to enjoy, and we will get it clean.

  • tel zee truath

    People still defending armstrong unbelievable. Saville and Armstrong two very different crimes and you could say one of a higher level than the other. But the two men have incredibly similar traits – ego, controlling, bullying, power hungry, manipulative and liars. You reap what you sow.

    Read USADA docs and the secret race then if you still believe armstrong the brainwashing worked.

    Funny how armstrong always used the cancer charity card – people see others in very black and white ie good or bad. People find it hard to accept people can have a good and bad side to them. Armstrong did good charity work but he also abused peoples trust.

  • Daqve Wilcock


  • Darren Garlish

    Absolutely disgusting! The organizers should be embarrassed. To even find that a sports hero, who was competing on the same dirty playing field to rest of the contenders in the peleton, is more deserving of burning at the stake than the likes of a pedophile or terrorist is repulsive.

  • John D

    Totally wrong. just read the comments and its more like”we had to have someone but it could have been anyone”. Sick.

  • Rob Whitehead

    Putting Jimmy Savile’s name to anything is really bad taste, either right now or in the future. It’s just not funny. Lance is facing a tough time for his alleged involvement in doping but to put him metaphorically in the same room as a paedophile is not nice at all and frankly disrespectful to him or anyone else. I know he’s not everyone’s number one choice in famous cyclists right now. What were the organisers thinking? It’s all a bit strange. What is wrong with just using a standard Guy Fawkes sculpture? Bizarre, whether a cycling fan or not.

  • Billy Rudd

    I Like a laugh as much if not more than most. I just do not think it’s funny. I think you should be looking at the bigger picture. Has anybody got proof or is it all just what people say. Until I see proof I still think Lance Armstrong is a great man. I think some people are all too quick to jump on a bandwagon
    Billy Rudd

  • JbigdogSTRNGR

    Whoever thought this up and gave it the go-ahead are IDIOTS… The same goes for anyone who is attending and supporting. This is straight up bigoted stupidity, bordering on fascism. If Lance is guilty of doping (let’s remember, nothing has been officially proved -never failed a test [say tongue in cheek]) then he should answer for it, but doping or not he will always be one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen and should be respected as such. Burning a giant effigy of the man is the kind of extremism reserved for irrational fanatics, and not reasonable, respectful, home counties residents…

  • aka.ben

    Pitch fork justice, Edenbdge the Wicker Man, what next, burn the witch!

    The measure of a civilized society is how they treat their criminal classes, (Mark Twain).

    Not a fan of Armstrong or EDENBRIDGE!

  • Max

    I see that in-breeding hasn’t died out everywhere in the English countryside

  • mark

    quality bit of entertainment shame on the small minded folk on here who cant understand there is humour in evrything

  • Scott

    I agree with Andy 12.32: can we please get a sense of humour and a sense of perspective. Since when did this country lose both of these? As a racing cyclist, now in my late 40s and still racing, I held my breath whilst the news was breaking from USADA and UCI. I really HOPED that the allegations would not be true, but the evidence appears to be overwhelming. Fortunately we have a whole team of role models in the UK now. Let us consign Lance Armstrong to the bonfire – whether figuratively or imaginatively.

  • Jon

    It looks more like George Osborne anyway. I think they started off doing him and forgot to change the face.

  • Leslie Harrison

    It disgusts me that people can do this, no evidence whatsoever! it’s Just like the witch-finder general all over again, brainwashed loons. I hope they regret this , just hatred from small minded idiots.

  • steven manns

    The UCI were aware of doping and did nothing, apart from accepting money from Armstrong. where’s there effigy. Armstrong just took advantage of the fact he wasn’t going to get caught. It’s a bloody disgrace.

  • rich creaser

    A bit over the top when will pepole get off this Armstrong Train and focus on the cycling of today.
    Its becoming boring now.

  • Mark Jones

    I’m no fan of Lance, but I agree with johnp as how can they compare his antics as deplorable as they were to those of Jimmy Savile and Abu Hamza. Not that I’m agreeing with it, but people cheat all the time be it cheating in an exam or getting help with homework, texting a friend for the answers in a pub quiz, having plastic surgery, paying a ref off, fraudently claiming compensation for an accident, celebrities claiming they’ve lost their weight from healthy eating and exercise when in fact they had their stomach stapled, exaggerating or lying on CV’s, taking a sickie off work, etc, etc. I’m sure everyone has done something like this at some point in their life (or at least knows someone who has), but you can’t say the same about instututionalised child abuse and race hatred.

  • Andy

    Oh, for crying out loud! To all those who are outraged about this, please, get a sense of perspective. For years, people burned an effigy of a recusant catholic – Guido Fawkes – on the 5th November. This really isn’t that much different. Bonfire societies in the south of England, and here I’m thinking Sussex, especially, have been doing similar things for yonks. Do you really think LA give a stuff about this, given everything else he’s going to have to face up to, sooner or later?

    And to those who still think there’s no evidence against him – READ the USADA reasoned decision and the attached documents. If, after that, you still think he’s innocent, there is still hope that the Tooth Fairy can win the Giro and Father Christmas will take the next world championship time trial…

  • TG

    I wonder if Nike are happy to be burnt along with him? What about Trek etc? They could add a little Brunyeel on his shoulder.

  • Jon

    He’s an easy target for villagers with pitchforks and they’ll have forgotten all about him by Christmas. They should get a good turnout from the bigoted roadhogs that don’t like cyclists though. I’m glad the truth has finally prevailed in this affair but I think this kind of thing is both inevitable and largely irrelevant.

  • hugh anderson


  • Alan

    EBS best watch out, you know how Lance gets when someone upsets him !
    He’ll be talking of sueing, known him !

    Very funny tho’.

  • charlie

    posse of lawyers heading for Edenbridge right now!

  • simon

    That’s in really bad taste!! There is no solid proof against Lance and a lot of riders still show support for him. Show the man a bit of respect!!

  • David

    ….bit of a classic, wsy?

  • Cherry

    If this it what we’ve come to as a country then what a sick society we’ve become. Cyling will never be able to draw a line under the Armstrong era because he’ll always be the one cyclist ever to be banned as a drug cheat despite not having failed a drug test. Meanwhile nobody appears to have thought anything recently about England footballers having to take sleeping pills to counteract the effect of caffeine pills they took before there recent match with Poland.

  • jonp

    cyclings the easy target again then. Whatever you think of sporting fraud, its hardly in the same league as instututionalised child abuse and race hatred. Fair point about osbourne though.

  • anonymous

    Frank Shepherd if you’re so brave & funny, next year try a popular non Christian effigy. I’ll be there holding your sweaty little plam you sad fcuk. TAKE IT DOWN BEFORE IT’S TAKEN DOWN!

  • pete

    It’s “caricature” if you please…. not “characterture” !!!!

    Sorry to sound like somebody from 1932, but you’re a magazine publisher, not some illiterate chav blog. It matters.

    Correct it and don’t post my message if you prefer.

  • Greg Spurlock

    Appears that drugs only worked on Armstrong, as he got 7x more benefit than anyone else, can not take that away. Looks to me you have now scared the willies out the folks in Kent with this supernatural ability leaving the only way out possible, burn your effigy at the stake.

  • Terry

    If this is for real then its in poor taste no matter what you think of him.

  • Sam1

    Quality. And the Saville necklace to top it off nicely.