Football mascots have been around for well over 100 years and they remain a prominent part of the matchday experience for supporters in the Premier League, although not all have proved successful.
The origins of mascots being used in football appears to date back to the 1880s, when clubs deployed real animals to provide entertainment for supporters at games or even to strike fear into the eyes of their opponents.
Indeed, it wasn’t for another 100 years until the puppet style mascots of today became common place, with many clubs opting to base their own mascots around club nicknames or links to the local area.
Other clubs chose for a more random approach and we have taken a look at some of the worst and most bizarre mascots to ever grace the Premier League.
5 Nottingham Forest – Sherwood Bear
Nottingham Forest have not been in the Premier League since suffering relegation back in 1999, during which time they had Sherwood Bear as their mascot.
Now there is nothing too offensive about this mascot, named after Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, but surely it made more sense to base the character on Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw from the area who holds a place in English folklore.
The hierarchy at Forest appeared to agree with that sentiment and replaced Sherwood Bear with Robin Hood in 2007, only to then reverse that decision eight years later.
However, Sherwood Bear’s return thankfully only lasted three years, as he was soon replaced again, with Robin Hood returning to role, hopefully permanently, in 2018.
4 Leeds United – Lucas The Kop Kat
Lucas The Kop Kat has been Leeds’ mascot since 2005, with the club opting for a snow leopard character to pay homage to their white kit.
That appears to be the only link between the West Yorkshire club and snow leopards, with the choice in animal seeming strange given Leeds were historically known as the Peacocks.
Having only become the club’s mascot 16 years ago, Lucas is embarking on his first season in the Premier League, but unlike Marcelo Bielsa’s side, we don’t think he’s earning too many admirers.
3 Sheffield United – Captain Blade
A number of clubs opt to base their mascots on their nickname, which from a PR point of view may not have been the best route for Sheffield United to go down given they are known as the Blades.
However, to incorporate that nickname, which also forms part of the club’s badge, Sheff United opted to go with a pirate who carries around two swords.
A sword wielding pirate does not seem to be the friendliest or most child friendly mascot choice, while the use of the character may also appear strange given Sheffield is situated over 60 miles away from the ‘high seas’.
2 Everton – Chang the Elephant
As previously mentioned, the majority of mascots tend to have close links to the club and/or local community, but that wasn’t the case with Everton’s Chang the Elephant, who was named after the club’s sponsor.
The new mascot made little sense when compared to Everton’s previous incumbent, Mr Toffee, who was a reference to the club’s nickname, the roots of which can be traced back to their formation in 1878.
To make matters worse, Chang was ditched when the club’s sponsorship deal came to an end in 2017 and Everton have been operating without a mascot ever since, indeed they are the only current Premier League club not to have one.
1 West Brom – Boiler Man
There was an equal measure of disbelief and hilarity when West Brom introduced their new mascot Boiler Man ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The mascot was designed as a boiler with legs and came about after the Baggies agreed a sponsorship deal with Hull-based company Ideal Boilers.
The decision certainly provided plenty of amusement, but the choice in mascot appeared to go against the principles of the role, as they are supposed to provide supporters, mainly children, with entertainment, rather than to promote the need to get your boiler replaced.
Thankfully Albion have also kept their regular mascot Baggie Bird, although both characters could be out of the Premier League come the end of the season, with Albion looking almost certain to be relegated.