World of Sport

Mascot is forced to quit as he is not FAT enough

Bradford City’s mascot has stepped down from the role – because he is not fat enough.

Lenny Berry, 59, has played the Bantams’ City Gent for 20 years - which primarily involved wandering around in a bowler hat and City kit and having fun with the fans.

After being diagnosed with diabetes, he lost weight for health reasons - and Berry says that meant he had to give up his beloved hobby.

"I'm absolutely gutted. I am a grown man and this is something I have cried over," he told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.

"I used to have supporters chant things at me, like 'who ate all the pies'. I used to get them going and then grab my belly.

"I've always had a good rapport with fans."

Bradford City commercial director Roger Owen said that all parties agreed that “action needed to be taken”.

"In the case of the City Gent, the main issue was his physical appearance, which was much changed from the original concept of the then chairman, the late Stafford Heginbotham, who styled The City Gent on himself," he said.

"We agreed that action needed to be taken. I met Lenny late Friday and he gave me his decision, which he had been pondering for some three weeks.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Lenny for his efforts over what has been a long time, in all weathers and through the various fortunes of the club.

"He has brought fun and enjoyment to many, particularly our fans at the younger end of the age scale, and he finishes with our best wishes for the future, which I understand will include being a season ticket holder somewhere in the stadium."

You'd think the least Bradford could do after 20 years' service would be provide the man with a season ticket - but it seems not.

The West Yorkshire club will not seek someone else to take over the role, although it is reported that several thousand fans at Valley Parade fit the job description.

They love pies up t’North, tha knows.

Celebrating promotion with the players last season