HUNDREDS of thousands of commuters are to be greeted by a new modern version of the Liver Bird. The Spirit of Liverpool 8ft statue of the bird has moved from the city’s cruise liner terminal to a new perch in the shopping mall just outside Central Station. It was unveiled by the Squire of Knotty Ash, Ken Dodd who drew quite a crowd. The bird is a giant version of statues that have been sold to more than 40 countries and been presented to high profile visiting VIPs including the Queen. During the summer the bird greeted tens of thousands of tourists sailing into the river. Her new perch is just outside the busiest underground station outside London where she will be keeping a watch over vast numbers of shoppers, tourists and commuters. The Spirit of Liverpool is the creation of sculptor Rick Myers of Liver Birds Inc. He said: “Smaller versions of the bird have been presented to captains of liners visiting the Mersey so it was fitting that the big version welcomed tourists sailing into Liverpool. Now she will be right in the heart of the city.” Rick’s business partner, former Echo journalist Arthur Johnson, said: “We are delighted that Ken Dodd, as a Freeman of the City, has agreed to welcome the bird to her new home. “A donation will be made to Claire House, the Wirral-based children’s hospice and Autism Together, the new title for Wirral Autistic Society, from every on-line sale of Spirit of Liverpool products up to Christmas.” Tony Langan, a Liverpool-based fund-raiser for Claire House, said: “While our hospice is situated on Wirral around half of the families we support are from Liverpool. Because of this we are delighted the Spirit of Liverpool and Ken Dodd are helping us raise much needed funds.” Rick Myers, who is fund-raiser for Autism Together which supports many Liverpool families added: “I have been a professional fund-raiser for charities for many years so it is great to see the bird helping two such worthy causes.” The 8ft bird has been sponsored by Love2shop, the Wirral-based rewards and incentives specialists and has been dedicated to the memory of the late Paul Rice, former Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Commercial Business Improvement District (BID) and founder of the Spirit of Shankly fans group, who was seen by many as a person who epitomised the spirit of Liverpool. Funding for the bird came from BID to mark Paul’s memory. Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: “Paul is greatly missed by all who knew him but his indomitable spirit, which continues to affect thousands of people who never knew him, lives on in so many ways. This Liver Bird is a fitting memory and its position in Central Station will ensure he remains at the heart of the great city that he cared so passionately about.” Versions of the bird along with copies of the children’s book are on sale at www.liverbirdsinc.com .