The youngster’s infantile gesture may well have been involuntary – there is something compulsive about the manner in which he shows the fingers – but that should not dampen an amusing interlude ahead of a boring display of football.
— Matthew Edwards (@matthewedwar) March 5, 2014
The cheeky chappie’s intervention amused plenty of Twitter users…
Why is that little mascot for England swearing at the camera?! LOOOL
— shaniabedi (@ShaniaBedi1) March 5, 2014
Some viewers were less impressed though…
Did anyone seen the England mascot swearing at the camera?? I bet his poor educated father is very proud of him.
— David Sands (@SandDavids) March 5, 2014
England Mascot 2 fingers up walking out of the tunnel. What a little hero, hefty fine coming his way. Save those pennies lad. — Joe Stowell. (@JoeStowell9) March 5, 2014
It’s not the first time a mascot has stolen the headlines either. Here are some classics:
1. Child snubs child in mascot-on-mascot social assassination
Larry David would be proud of this deliberate piece of anti-social behaviour. As Aston Villa’s mascot shakes the hands of Manchester City players, he comes across his opposite number. "Pray tell, lank-haired young boy, who exactly are you? For I am not a man – nor am I a child – I am Cantona! Bah! Don’t touch me, weakling."
2. Mertesacker is so tough his greetings hurt children
We've got a big ****ing German, goes the Arsenal song. But Per Mertesacker is more than just big – he is strong. Very strong. So strong that, when a little girl high-fives him before the Champions League match with Bayern Munich, she recoils in pain. Chuck Norris would be proud.
3. Child snubs Suarez handshake, gives him the nose
Context is everything with this particular piece of child mischief. The young girl, a Spurs mascot, is set to shake hands with Luis Suarez, who infamously refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand after being found guilty of racially abusing him. So the kid’s decision to withdraw her paw – and form a similarly childish ‘ner ner ner ner ner’ thumb-to-nose gesture – is quite remarkable in its sophistication. She also shows great magnanimity in immediately returning her hand to Suarez. A comedy genius.
4. The originals aren’t always the best
The Suarez incident above is not the first time a Liverpool player has been given the nose by a London mascot. Indeed, many years ago Steven Gerrard was given the treatment by this young Chelsea fan. Alas there was no prior with Gerrard, so this appears to have been spontaneous and borne of sheer spite. Gerrard takes it in his stride though, patting the naughty little boy on the cheek.
5. Player's ego damaged by taller mascot - so he swaps it for a shorter one
The footballer's ego is a fragile thing. And none more so than Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery, who has had his fair share of unfair comments about his appearance. One aspect of his physique that is rarely mocked is his height though - at 5'7" he is not the tallest. So when, in a charity match last summer, his 'player escort' (as UEFA calls them) was almost the same size, Ribery asked a team-mate if he could trade down. Cue much mirth - and to be fair to Ribery, it was done with humour.
6. Howay the lads!
Newcastle mascot Jack McBride stole the show before his team hammered Sunderland 3-0 in a Premier League match in 2010. The eight-year-old put on a performance of consummate arrogance as he entertained the masses. A proper wee man.
- Sports & Recreation