Claims of a Torquay mascot fight surfaced on the club’s website after United’s 2-3 defeat to Grimsby and Gilbert the Gull has reportedly been “spoken to” by officials regarding his behaviour.
The Torquay United mascot has been accused of using foul language while arguing with supporters in the Popside stand before challenging several of them to a fight during last weekend’s Conference Premier clash.
One fan posted details of their experience:
Around five minutes after Grimsby scored their third, Gilbert came over to us and shouted “Where’s the drummer?”
We all thought he was having a laugh, but then he called us a bunch of “c***s and c**ks” and after a few words exchanged he waddled off back to the Family Stand.
At the end of the game, Gilbert came over again and in front of us on the pitch, he gave the ‘come on then’ body language towards us and wouldn’t stop until hiding behind the stewards and again waddling off as we moved towards the exits.
I and many others complained to the stewards about this and I personally spoke to Andrew Candy about this issue and he will be having a word.
We have the worst mascot in football.
Another told a similar tale:
The mascot was, and no doubt about it, offering fans on to the pitch for a fight.
What would have happened to the club if 10 or more decided to take up the mascots offer and jumped over the wall and on to the pitch?
The Torquay Herald Express report that Torquay United chief executive Andrew Candy reprimanded Gilbert but sought to play down the incident:
There was an exchange of views between Gilbert and the fans in the Popside.
Gilbert was trying to generate some support and get the fans behind the team but it appears that there was a small altercation with the fans.
There was no malicious intent in what was said but things were said that, in hindsight, should not have been.
Gilbert has been spoken to and been told that this should not have happened and that this will not happen in the future.
Following the investigation Gilbert the Gull is set to resume his duties at Plainmoor, but the creature has been told to “stay away from the Popside” in an effort to avoid an further disturbances:
Gilbert has been made aware that he shouldn’t allow his enthusiasm to take wing and fly over to the Popside.
It was near the end of a game that we were losing and emotions were running high. Now that everything has calmed down, Gilbert will now be back where he should be and that is keeping the younger fans entertained.
However Steve Jegat, the man who has been inside the gull costume for the past year, has sensationally denied swearing and claims he’s not “welcome” in the home end.
The dad-of-two said:
Basically after Grimsby scored their third goal I went over and said “Where’s the drummer gone?” and ended up getting a load of abuse.
The fans on that side had just given up. But I didn’t swear like they were trying to say.
I went and told the stewards “I’m more welcome at the away end”.
I even had a load of abuse on Gilbert’s Facebook page when I got home.
They say that I’m the ambassador for the club but if I’m the ambassador, why are they trying to knock me about?