`Mature' mascot first at Gayfield

Last updated : 13 January 2013 By Fargone

From the Glasgow Herald:  A Scots football fanatic has completed his life-long dream to be a match-day mascot for his local team at the age of 30.

Lee Haxton, from Carnoustie, Angus, was the proudest man on the park when he led out his heroes from the tunnel on Wednesday at Arbroath FC's Gayfield Park.

The 813 fans gathered for the New Year Second Division clash with East Fife were left stunned when the Angus Council employee ran onto the pitch.

Mr Haxton, whose father played for Arbroath in the 1970s, admitted it was a moment he would cherish after he missed out on the role as a child.

He said: "One of my best pals was a Celtic supporter and when we were young he got to be the mascot there, but at the time Arbroath didn't have a match mascot – so I've eventually managed to do the same for my team."

Mr Grant said the idea came from his mother-in-law Lorraine Grant, and he was only too happy to pull on the red (RED!!?@@!??) and white of Arbroath and stroll on to the turf.

He said: "I wasn't sure what to make of it when my mum-in-law said she had arranged for me to be a mascot but then I thought why not, it's a bit of fun."

Mrs Grant added: "Arbroath very kindly agreed to my request as it was a 'special' birthday."

Fans were baffled when they saw him running out of the tunnel. Stuart Milne tweeted: "Oldest mascot ever seen leads teams out, 30 years old."

After taking his usual seat in the stand, Mr Haxton was thrilled when his team beat East Fife 1-0 thanks to a goal from player-manager Paul Sheerin.

Following the game, Arbroath committee member Malcolm Fairweather admitted it was "quite unusual" to have such an old mascot. He said: "I have never known it to happen before, so it looks like it may be a first for the club."