A COMMUNITY fundraiser has been launched to create a mural to honour Atherton born UFC World Champion Tom Aspinall.

The initiative, hosted on Crowdfunder, invites residents to contribute to the creation of a mural to reflect the pride and support the community feels since his win in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Atherton fighter took just 69 seconds to record victory at Madison Square Garden in New York against Sergei Pavlovich, despite having just two weeks to prepare.

The 30-year-old knocked out his Russian opponent with a punishing series of blows at UFC 295.

Aspinall became just the third British fighter to become UFC world champion, and only got the call-up for the fight on October 25 after defending champion Jon Jones suffered a serious injury and pulled out of his contest against Stipe Miocic.

Since his win , a campaign has been launched by Atherton South and Lilford councillor Lee McStein to get a mural done in the town honouring Tom.

Lee said: "As someone who enjoys mixed martial arts, and a massive fan of Tom, I am absolutely thrilled to see this fundraiser come to fruition today.

"This mural will not only be a significant landmark in the area, but will also stand as a testament to honour a world champion like Tom in our community that many residents are already calling for.

"I’ve already spoken with Tom himself and officers at Wigan Council back in July to ensure this is done with his consent, and that it will be done to the standard we expect for a world champion, and I’m in contact with a number of award winning artists who could potentially complete this work."

Many residents have been calling for the mural on social media since his victory on Sunday morning, with business owners such as Imagine Print and Design on Market Street already showing their support with large window displays with a portrait of Tom showing off his trademark M46 gumshield, which only underlines the love for his hometown.

“It’s all a little bit surreal, I used to serve Tom regularly while working at Aldi years ago and remember a colleague telling me – ‘that’s Tom Aspinall, he’s going to be big news in the UFC soon’.

“It’s incredible to hear Tom being announced in the UFC, and it fills you with pride to hear Bruce ‘Lets get ready to rumble’ Buffer shouting out ‘Atherton, Greater Manchester’ when announcing fighters.”

Supporters can contribute via crowdfunder.co.uk/p/mural-for-ufc-world-champion-tom-aspinall