'Normally you're dead!' Sir John Walker surprised his golden medal moment to be immortalised in life-size bronze statue

New Zealand Olympic legend Sir John Walker will have his 1976 Montreal Olympic moment immortalised in bronze in his home suburb of Manurewa.

Walker's Olympic triumph will now be a permanent tribute to the living legend in his home suburb of Manurewa. Source: 1 NEWS

Founders of the Sir John Walker legacy trust have raised the funds through private and commercial donors to commission the sculpture.

Walker said he was surprised about the prospect of having his spectacular Olympic moment immortalised in bronze.

"It came as a big shock because normally you're dead," said Walker.

Sculptor Joanne Sullivan hopes to capture people's attention in Manurewa with her artistic touch.

"The whole idea of it is to have the sculpture in full action so that those passing by particularly from the area look at the piece and something in it lifts their spirits," said Sullivan.

"I'm looking to capture that moment Sir John Walker crosses the line with his arms up. It's the agony and the ecstasy of having realised he's done it."

The statue is expected to take about a year to complete.