THE memorials to football ­legends have made Glasgow Scotland's sporting statue capital.

A study by Sheffield University found Glasgow has the most sports-related memorials in Scotland.

The total of six sporting statues mean Glasgow makes up the majority of the 16 figures found in Scotland.

Glasgow's statues ­concentrate on the Old Firm, with Celtic displaying Jock Stein, Jimmy Johnstone and the club's founder Brother Walfrid outside Celtic Park.

Former Rangers captain John Greig stands guard outside Ibrox in commemoration of those who lost their lives in the 1971 disaster.

Outside Glasgow, sporting heroes like Rangers and Motherwell legend Davie Cooper is also immortalised in his home town, with a statue in Hamilton.

The research was conducted by the English university to find out the differences in how cultures across the world represent their sporting idols.

Ffion Thomas, who worked on the project alongside Dr Chris Stride, feels the Old Firm is the reason for the cluster of statues in Glasgow.

She said: "Old Firm players are heavily featured throughout Scottish statues, with more money available to both these clubs for the ventures.

"The huge followings for both sides also play a factor. Every football fan in the UK is proud of their clubs' sporting heritage and that shows in our results."

Britain led the way with statues, with more than 80.

This is compared to successful football ­nations like Brazil, Spain and Holland which have just over 20 each.

Ffion feels the sense of community throughout Britain plays a part, as every area has its own sporting heroes.

She said: "A lot of smaller towns and clubs that do not have a claim to fame outside of open successful football star who has become very famous.

"This is evident in Scotland, with smaller towns proudly building a statue of their most famous footballers."

Brazilian Pele was the player who ­appeared most often in the memorials, with six statues.

Dr Stride feels the commercialisation of the game has played a part in the increase in statues, with 95% examine in the findings appearing after 1990.

He added: "The primary reasons for this increase are football clubs' marketing strategies based around branding through ­nostalgia and authenticity,

"This goes along with the desire of fans to project their club's distinct identity in an increasingly ­globalised game."