Do you remember Eric Cantona’s ‘Bruce Lee’ karate dropkick against the foul-mouthed Palace fan Matthew Simmons, the Palace fan giving him some jip as he was leaving the pitch after being red-carded? His punishment was a £20,000 fine and a nine-month ban from football. Now it’s the turn of Torquay’s mascot Gilbert the Gull to feel the full force of a ban, according to the Western Morning News.

Foul-mouthed mascot Gilbert, has been refused access to Forest Green Rovers’ ground for Friday’s game due to him being a “security risk”. Due to Gilbert’s propensity for the odd ‘blue comment’ directed at his own team’s fans, Forest Green have decided to take no chances for the National League fixture that is being broadcast live on BT Sport.

Man-in-the-suit, 42-year-old Steve Jegat is aghst at the ban saying all that he wanted to do was have a bit of playful fun with the Forest Green mascot ‘Green Devil’ at half-time –  a dance off and a little kick-about. Speaking on the matter, Stev…sorry Gilbert said, “Forest Green won’t give me clearance as they don’t want me with their own mascot and they say Gilbert is a security risk. It’s laughable.”

Forest Green responded by reiterating their ban of Gilbert the Gull and said that, “The Green Devil don’t dance.”

Forest Greens reluctance to allow the Torquay mascot before the live TV cameras stems from an incidence last season when the pottymouthed Gull allegedly sparked a disturbance with his own fans during a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Grimsby Town at Torquay’s Plainmoor ground. The naughty bird was alleged to have called Torquay fans “c**ks” and “c**ts” and challenged them to fights in what led to ‘small-scale’ altercations; actions that the Western Morning News said led to the Torquay mascot being named the “worst mascot in history” Gilbert the Gull was put under a club investigation and later cleared to resume his duties on the proviso that he should be seen yet not heard.

So, please be careful out there Football League mascots – remember the children and try not to swear in front of the TV cameras.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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