A bid to put a Spitfire on display in Birmingham has been backed by a city business body.
Neil Maybury, chairman of Birmingham Business Focus and a Spitfire enthusiast, is in the process of setting up a museum dedicated to the iconic planes, thousands of which were made at what is now Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich car plant.
Campaigners want to house one of 20 Spitfires discovered in Burma earlier this year in Birmingham, close to the factory.
And Mr Maybury, who was thrown into the limelight last week as the double of new England boss Roy Hodgson, backed the call.
He said: “Sixty per cent of Spitfires were made in Birmingham and it’s something to be proud of.
“Birmingham Business Focus is 100 per cent behind this petition to bring a Spitfire to Birmingham.
“It would be great for the image of Birmingham and for inward investment.” Mr Maybury first began championing the Spitfire cause when, as a pilot, he realised few people knew of Birmingham’s role in the production process during the Second World War.
He said: “I knew that Spitfires were built in Birmingham but I realised nobody else did.
“I started shouting it from the rooftops.”
Mr Maybury’s two-year campaign to see a museum set up at the MAC at Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park will see a bid for Heritage Lottery funding lodged in the near future.
The campaign to return a Spitfire to Birmingham was launched by history buff Doug Pullen after it emerged the Government had secured a deal to dig up 20 preserved planes in Burma.
They were shipped to the Far East on the eve of the Japanese surrender which ended the conflict.
Worried they would fall into enemy hands, the Spitfires were buried in the shipping crates and evidence of their locations destroyed.
Mr Pullen said the early response to his petition had been positive and urged supporters to go online to add their names.
The petition can be signed at www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32913