Meet Gilbert the Gull, Torquay's most controversial mascot

Oscar Quine@oscarquine
Saturday 25 October 2014 10:00
sport

Who's this big bird fella?

This is Gilbert, mascot for Conference Premier League side Torquay United. Last weekend, during his side's 3-2 defeat to Grimsby Utd, Gilbert apparently lost his rag at his own fans, hurling an expletive at them and challenging them to a fight.

Trouble in Torquay!

Indeed. According to one supporter, who took to an online fans forum after the match to complain about the incident: "Around five minutes after Grimsby scored their third, Gilbert came over to us and shouted 'where's the drummer!'. We all though he was having a laugh but then he called us a bunch of [expletive words] and after a few words exchanged he waddled off back to the family stand."

Whoa, angry bird.

Before you shoot him down, let the man speak. Steve Jegat, a dad-of-two who has donned Gilbert's feathers for the past year has denied swearing at fans. What's more, he says he's fed up with all the flack he gets.

Poor chick

"They say I'm the ambassador for the club, but if I'm the ambassador why are they trying to knock me about?", he said, adding. "I do so much for the club, with charity things and other games... Someone said to me '99 per cent of the fans are behind you - it's just the one per cent.'"

So, has this come home to roost?

The club's boss Andrew Candy said the club had launched a probe into the incident, adding Mr Jegat was reprimanded. However, he has been cleared to resume his duties. "Gilbert has been spoken to and been told this should not have happened", he said.

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