A totally frank insider’s guide to the 2019 Mascots World Cup

We've had a definitely-not-disgraced former Basildon mascot take us through the contenders

Gunnersaurus and Chelsea mascots

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Frank ‘The Tank’ Gibbons is a former mascot with Basildon Town. Despite recently being removed from his post, Frank is still a hugely respected figure in the football world.

Editor’s note: Frank was at pains to stress that “it’s a suspension, not a firing” and he fully intends to continue his career as a mascot. He also feels that “you lot should spend less time tweeting muck at Banter Betz, and more time checking your facts.”

With the Mascot World Cup starting on Monday, who better than Frank – a mascot with 16 years experience in the game – to take us through some of the runners and riders…

I’ve always said you need three things to be a great football mascot: style, charisma and a pair of massive balls. That’s four things though, innit? Or can you count balls as one thing, cause they’re technically in a bag? Can you count the bag as one thing? Even though it contains two balls, and it’s the balls that really matter? Christ, it’s a f*****g landmine all this.

Anyway, if you possess these things then you have the chance to become one of the best. You might even win the Mascot World Cup. But since it’s a World Cup without me in it, it can’t mean all that much, can it? What’s the deal with that? How can you have a competition to find the best mascot in the business without me in the running?

It’s a sham.

It’s like the recent race to become the new Prime Minister. A wheelbarrow full of turds tumbling down a hill, turds flying everywhere until only one turd is left and everyone just shrugs and says, “Yeah he’s obviously the best turd. Whatever.”

I’m happy to look past this, however, and accept a payment to give my opinions on some of the lads who have made the cut. I know a good football mascot from a sh*t one. I told Paddy Power I was prepared to doorstep each of the fellas below and tell them, face to face, exactly what I think about them, but they insisted that was unnecessarily confrontational, and I should just write it down instead. Cowards.

Gunnersaurus – Arsenal

The guv’nor, yeah? The original and best, isn’t that right? Is it bollocks.

That fat minge stole his entire look off me during a corporate off-site at Laser Quest in Enfield in 1993. You should have seen what he looked like back then. Big pair of Pods, chinos and one of those cardigans with the massive buttons that you only on see on fishermen in paintings. He looked like a dick.

Then he meets me, gets a job at Arsenal and, hey presto, debuts this fresh new look that changes the game forever. An absolute fraud of a mascot, and I hate him.

Still, we remain great friends and I’d be touched if he unblocked me on WhatsApp.

Gunnersaurus

Pilgrim Pete – Plymouth

An absolute weapon, this lad.

Sold me one of those Android boxes that he said was packed with all the channels and even the dirty ones, and when I took it home and unboxed it, it was just Flight of the Navigator on VHS.

It’s a great movie, but that’s besides the point.

Harry the Hornet – Watford

He looks cheery, but he’s got a dark side.

Harry has a ferocious temper. He’s had run-ins with Roy Hogdson and Sam Allardyce, and I know for a fact that one time, after Watford played Liverpool, Harry shoved Jay Spearing into a wheelie bin and pushed him into a pond.

He means business, this lad.

Harry the Hornet

Robin Hood – Nottingham Forest

A fraud. He calls himself Robin Hood but he’s obviously not Robin f*****g Hood. His real name is Jerome and he works at a Disney Store in King’s Lynn.

He returned in 2018 after a three-year break. The club said he was off trying to be an actor, but I know for a fact that he was under house arrest for impersonating a police officer. Clown.

Robin Hood Nottingham Forest

Cyril the Swan – Swansea

He’s actually a really nice bloke, but he has a tough life. He has really weak neck muscles so his head sort of droops, and he’s constantly looking at the ground. Can’t be easy.

He has three kids he’s never even seen. He’s one of those lads who’ll just sit beside a stranger in a pub and start chatting away. He doesn’t even notice when they quietly get up and tip-toe away. Tragic really.

Pete the Eagle – Crystal Palace

This cat is seriously cool. He’s a huge music-lover. He was dead into The Fratelli’s before anyone had even heard of them.

He is intense, though. I once asked him if he had ever been in love, and he lowered his shades, leaned in dead close, and whispered: “Love is but a whisper on the devil’s breath.”

Alright, Pete.

Pete the Eagle

Moonchester – Manchester City

Look at the f*****g state of him. Absolute goth. Every time I see him, he’s drinking a big can of Monster. No idea what’s going on with this lad, and don’t want to.

Moonchester

Elvis J Eel – Southend United

A proper yer da, this fella. Look at his hair. I mean ffs. Imagine leaving the house looking like that. And look at the state of his knees. They’re like my nans, if she’d spent a week in the bath.

He’s the type of mascot who doesn’t even have a profile picture on his Twitter account. Grim.

Boilerman – West Brom

A boiler? A f*****g boiler? There’s an old fridge out by the bins near my gaff. Shall we stick a t-shirt and a pair of boots on it, call him Fridgeman, and put him in the competition too? Jesus wept.

Kingsley – Partick Thistle

Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. He’s like Blanka from Street Fighter II. An absolute maverick.

There’s no point sugar-coating it – I once saw him eat a live rat. We were in a cracking pub in Finnieston in Glasgow, downing a few Beavertown Neck Oils, when Kingsley pulled a live rat out of his backpack, shouted, “She’s turned the weans against us!” and swallowed it whole.

The whole pub was stunned. I just left. I couldn’t stay after that.

Fred the Red – Manchester United

Arsehole. Shouts “hated adored but never ignored” every time you try to reason with him about something. Boring.

Always has the best blue movies, though. Makes mixtapes too. You tell him what you like, and he’ll make you a tape full of it from different movies.

Did me a cracking one on feet. Sensational stuff.

Fred the Red

Super Pepino – Leganes

A big cucumber wearing a mask and a cape? Oh, no, there’s nothing to worry about here. Christ, I don’t know where to start. I do know, however, that somebody somewhere should be keeping their eye on this fella.

And seizing his hard-drive might not be a bad idea either.

I’m not casting any aspersions or anything, but something is amiss with Super Pepino.

The Mascot World Cup kicks off on Monday July 29th, and will be hosted by the great @MascotSilence on Twitter. Frank is also on Twitter and Instagram (@Frank_Mascot), and is available for bookings, appearances and corporates.

What do you think?