A football mascot who lost weight for health reasons has stepped down after deciding he was too thin to perform his duties.
Lifelong Bradford City fan and charity fundraiser Lenny Berry has been marching round the club's stadium for the last 20 years dressed as the "City Gent" - a portly character wearing a bowler hat, modelled on the Bantams' former club chairman Stafford Heginbotham - but lost seven stone after being diagnosed with diabetes, dropping from XXXL to M shirts. He has now decided to leave after feeling he was not suited to the character any longer, despite being offered a sumo-style 'fat suit' to get round the issue.
"I'm absolutely gutted. I am a grown man and this is something I have cried over. 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" he told Bradford's Telegraph & Argus newspaper.
Bradford City boss Roger Owen praised Lenny, saying, "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."
[via The Guardian]