The Top 10 mascots in football: starring chimp chokers, perverted lions and bad boy swans
Newcastle romped to victory in the Tyne-Weir derby, with Toon favourite Kevin Nolan bagging himself a hat-trick.
Unbeknown to the skipper, he had already been upstaged. Cheeky mascot, 8-year-old Jack McBride, stole his thunder, blowing kisses to the cameras, scoring a penalty, and forming a heart shape with his hands to the delight of the Geordie masses.
Here's Jack strutting his stuff in front of 50,000, but who else has stolen the player's thunder?
1) Deepdale Duck
Preston North End's mascot holds the unenviable mantle of being the first mascot to have been sent off during a game. Such was the bird's protest that he had to be dragged from his post by his wings. He's cultivated a reputation for himself, so much so in fact that Everton tried to ban him from Goodison Park, citing the fact that he would incite the crowd to riot. Following media pressure the club relented and Deepdale was taken to the match in a stretch limousine. As you can see, DD has the potential to wind up anyone...
2) Cyril the Swan
The bad boy of the mascot world, Cyril has been involved in his fair share of fracases. He may not be blessed with a swan's elegance, but standing at a whopping nine feet tall, he certainly cuts quite a figure. Just ask Milwall's Zampa the Lion. During one game between the two sides a scuffle broke out between the pair, and Cyril humiliated Zampa in the most humiliating of mascot means: beheading. Not content with this, having wrestled Zampa's head from his body, Cyril proceeded to dropkick his trophy into the crowd. He might have gained legendary status, but he paid for his fame, having to pick up a bill for £1000 as his punishment.
Just in case you don't know what a Swan from Preston sounds like, here's Cyril explaining the incident:
3) Chaddy the Owl We all know officials have their off days, but this one's a hoot and a half. In a match against Peterborough in the 2000-01 season, Oldham's Chaddy wreaked havoc as one bamboozled linesman kept flagging Carlo Corrazin offside when he wasn't. The Owl was given his marching orders following a chat between the referee and his assistant, as it was revealed the lino had mistook him for Carlo. A deliberate ploy? Unlikely, but the Latics sure did miss their star player, going down 4-1.
4) World Cup Willie
In 1966 our very own Willie was unveiled as the first mascot at a major sporting tournament. Unlike the mascot's of today, he was a cartoon, created by commercial artist Reg Hoye, and could be seen on all the World Cup's merchandise, with anything from badges to beer glasses having a Willie emblazoned upon them. Don't laugh, what's wrong with a load of football fans having a Willie with their lager?
5) Steven Gerrard gets rinsed
As Jack can now testify to, it's not just the cute and cuddly mascots that get all the press. Not once, but twice, England legend and superstar, Steven Gerrard, has been snubbed by the outrageous child mascots. Against Chelsea, the cheek of one even stretched to mocking the Liverpool captain, offering his hand, and then taking it away. On the second occasion, Stevie went to shake the hand of West Brom's representative, who casually refused it without so much as a by your leave.
6) Wolfie Back in 1998 Wolverhampton Wanderers enjoyed a 6-1 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. This day will not be remembered for the footie, though, but rather the half time inter-mascot relationship meltdown. During the interval, the wolf got into a scrap with the Bristol City pigs. In an attempt to recreate fairytale history, the adventurous wolf came to blows with all three. We must point out though that no animals were harmed in the filming of this video.
7) Hercules the Lion
In March of 1999 Aston Villa's Hercules hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after he was sacked for groping the club's beauty queen while on the pitch. Hercules, aka Gavin Lucas, grabbed Debbie Robins around the waist and tried to plant one on her in front of thousands at Villa Park. Gavin claimed it was "just a bit of fun", but sadly for him the event signalled the end of his time in the suit, as his services were quickly dispatched with by the Villa chiefs.
8) Beau Brummie Bulldog
Most of us know that the Grand National is held at Aintree, but what you might not know is that another high pedigree challenge takes place down the road. It's an annual race for the proud mascots - and yes it does include hurdles - held at the Huntingdon Racecourse in Cambridgeshire. Beau shot to fame when he won the first ever national back in 1999. However, the competition was marred this year when many mascots boycotted the event, claiming that it has become diluted by too many entrants who are not regulars, but merely chancers wanting to take advantage of the publicity. Is nothing sacred anymore?
We couldn't find any footage of Beau's momentous victory, but here's some from 2008 just to give you a taste of the excitement.
9) The Unfortunate Mascot
So, you think that charity doesn't hurt huh? Well, try asking this unfortunate mascot, who, during a charity mascot run at a game between Southend and Colchester, lost his bearings, but did manage to find the goal post.
10) H'Angus the Monkey
The pride of Hartlepool, is old H'Angus, just ask Jeff Stelling. The name is derived from the tale of monkey hanging way back in the Napoleonic wars, when the good people of Hartlepool, in their infinite wisdom, hung a monkey fearing that it was a French spy. However, H'Angus, or Stuart Drummond, makes the list as the only mascot to enter politics, becoming the Mayor of his beloved town. He was forced to hang up the suit back in 2002 after he romped to victory on the back of his main campaign policy, free bananas for all school children. Seriously. Here's a cracking little tune about the day that poor monkey died.