They have dominated Huddersfield’s skyline for five decades.

But now two tower blocks named after Huddersfield’s sporting heroes of the 1960s are set to vanish.

Demolition contractors today brought in a giant mechanical arm named Messiah to start to demolish the Lonsbrough and Ibbotson flats in Southgate.

It is the latest part in a huge contract to clear the site which included the former Huddersfield Sports Centre.

READ MORE: One last look around old Huddersfield Sports Centre as demolition men move in

Workmen from South Yorkshire-based Demex have already flattened the sports centre and a range of industrial buildings on the Old Leeds Road part of the site.

Demolition of Southgate flats, Huddersfield.

Over the past few days they have been stripping materials from the interior of the two tower blocks to be recycled.

And now the mechanical giant has been brought in to “eat” the flats from the top down.

READ MORE: Another part of Huddersfield's skyline disappears

It stretches up to the top of the 12-story block and grabs huge chunks of masonry and glass at a time.

The entire site has been cordoned off for safety and a special scaffolding platform has been built on the Southgate side of the complex to prevent any debris falling on to the pavement or road.

Demolition of Southgate flats, Huddersfield.

Once the flats are down and the rest of the site levelled and cleared, it will be handed back to Kirklees Council to market for redevelopment.

The flats were named after Olympic swimmer Anita Lonsbrough, who won swimming gold at the Rome Olympics in 1960, and athlete Derek Ibbotson, who set a world record for the mile in 1957.

A third block in the complex was named after the Huddersfield Borough architect Geffrey Richmond.

That block was refurbished by Kirklees Council and renamed Harold Wilson Court.