The family and friends of 'Panchito' with the new sculpture / SUR

Axarquía seaside town remembers local hero with a sculpture on its promenade

The bronze statue of ‘Panchito’, by Torre del Mar artist Francisco Martín, pays tribute to the resident who died seven years ago

Eugenio Cabezas

Rafael Delgado Molina, affectionately known as ‘Panchito’ by the residents of Torre del Mar, passed away seven years ago.

For four decades, on Romería (pilgrimage) Sundays; 26 July and other important days celebrated in the town, he would set of firecrackers to start the celebrations. Such was his legacy, that last Thursday the town paid him a heartfelt tribute by inaugurating a new sculpture by the Torre del Mar artist Francisco Martín, on the town’s promenade.

The event was attended by Panchito's family and local dignitaries. The bronze sculpture piece is located next to the fountain on the Virgen del Carmen promenade in Torre del Mar, on the east side of the promenade. "Delgado Molina was an illustrious residents, always ready to participate in the different events in Torre del Mar, always present at every celebration," a spokesperson said.

The mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Antonio Moreno Ferrer, deputy mayor of Torre del Mar, Jesús Pérez Atencia and family and friends of Panchito, were in charge of unveiling the sculpture. "Rafael Delgado Molina, our Panchito, was the ‘rocket man’ of our town. On pilgrimage Sundays and all the other important days in Torre del Mar, he woke us up early in the morning with his fire crackers," Atencia pointed out.

"We can say that he was, during all that time, an important part of our traditions. Seven years after his loss, the whole town still remembers him. Today, Torre del Mar pays tribute to him here, next to its beach and in front of Las Protegidas neighbourhood, which he always felt was so much his own. I think it is very positive that the town remembers all the residents who have contributed something to the community. Not only the most illustrious , but also to others who earned the affection of the people with their job," said Atencia