TWO friends created a snow sculpture of Olympic ski-jumping legend Eddie the Eagle Edwards - the size of a double-decker bus.

Martin Sharp, 45, a business consultant and fitness coach from York, and Justin Scott, 50, a tree surgeon from Driffield, worked for days to make the massive sculpture.

The pair were taking part in the Ischgl international snow sculpture competition in Austria.

And despite being up against some of the best snow sculptors in the world, the Yorkshire pair came fourth in the competition - which this year had a winter sports theme.

Martin said: “We are really pleased to have been able to compete against professional wood carvers and snow sculptors. Especially given we come from a country not renowned for its snow.

York Press: Martin and Justin at the start of the Ischgl snow sculpture competition

“There were around 75 points between the first and fourth place, we usually score middle of the pack, fourth to seventh.”

The competition was held in the Silvretta resort in Ischgl, Austria, from Monday, January 10 to Friday January 14.

The competition involves sculpting partners submitting designs based on the year’s theme, which are then selected by the competition committee.

Justin got involved after a chance meeting with Canadian snow sculptor Camilian Belenger while on holiday in Austria in 2000.

York Press: Eddie the Eagle sculpture the size of a double decker bus

Camilian’s partner couldn’t compete, so Justin decided to help as he is a trained figurative sculptor - and he caught the snow sculpting bug.

Martin joined Justin in 2016, and the pair formed a team to take on competitions.

But Martin revealed that this year's contest "wasn’t all plain sailing", adding: "The weather had big fluctuations, meaning we had to really plan out each day as the snow on the sunny side would be too soft after lunch.

“Due to the size of the piece we had to rely on snow cats to move the snow which led to accidents, took off part of the ski jump and the stairs, and prevented Eddie’s head and body coming together as well.

“Another driver ran over one of our spades, a primary tool due to weight luggage restrictions on the plane, then on Thursday I snapped the same spade - things weren’t looking good.”

But by Friday morning, after four nine-hour days of sculpting, plus the four hours that morning, they turned in their result.

York Press:

Martin said: “It was the biggest sculpture we’ve ever done, a massive challenge, very stressful, and there were points where we didn’t think we’d make it happen.

“We love to create sculptures that are interactive. We loved to see kids climbing the stairs and pretending to be Eddie the Eagle at the top of the ski jump, people taking pictures, and walking through the Olympic gate to enjoy the vista of the mountains and seeing Eddie in front of them. It is priceless.”