A heavyweight bronze statue honouring a town’s famous Olympic medal sprinter and rugby international has been fenced off on safety grounds after it was damaged.

Blaenavon Town Council said it had acted to protect the public owing to structural weakness in the Ken Jones statue, which was unveiled in 2013 and weighs up to 250kg.

A recent annual inspection by a structural engineering company revealed a ‘significant’ crack around the ankle of the statue which could lead to it collapsing.

Ken, who was born in the town and passed away at the age of 84 in 2006, was a Wales rugby international, British Lion and London 1948 Olympic Games sprint relay silver medallist.

Council chief officer Kevin Warren said of the damage: “As such, the statue is only being held on by a front dowel. Any movement and/or pressure from the wind, the rear leg is likely to snap very soon.

“As a result, the town council agreed at its meeting last Wednesday to ask Torfaen County Borough Council to urgently cordon off the statue and enter into discussions about its repair.”

Flying wing Ken played 44 times for Wales between 1947 and 1957 and 17 times for the British Lions on the 1950 tour of Australia and new Zealand, including three Tests.

As an athlete, he also European Championships silver in Bern, Switzerland, in 1954 and British Empire and Commonwealth bronze in Vacouver, Canada, in the 220 yard sprint the same year.