Seagull football mascots fear abuse after Gizmo snatch as new season starts

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Ed Woodgates, who is Gilbert the Gull, is worried about being targeted on the pitch.

He is the mascot at Torquay near Paignton, Devon, where Gizma the chihuahua was snatched by a gull.

Ed said: “I will probably get some chants because of that, knowing what football fans are like.

“Some away fans do give it large. But we always have young children as individual match mascots in club kit and if I take them round I find fans tend to tone it down and avoid bad language, so hopefully that will work.”

Other seaside targets could be Fleetwood’s Captain Cod and Southend’s Sammy the Shrimp .

Dog-suited mascots at Port Vale, Dagenham and Doncaster could also be in trouble .

Ed, 27, added: “Because of health and safety, Gilbert no longer goes to away games so I won’t come across any other dog or other animal mascots at their grounds. I only did it because when the previous one resigned, my eight-year-old son was upset there wasn’t a Gilbert.

“In summer I can’t keep my head on for a whole game – it’s too hot.”

Brighton seagull Gully said: “I’m hoping I don’t get too much stick at matches this season, but we are happy to be the Seagulls as we’ve been that for a long time and our fans are proud of it.

“It stems from our rivalry with Crystal Palace when their supporters sang their nickname ‘Eagles’ in the the 70s and our fans responded with ‘Seagulls’.”

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