The man behind Watford’s Harry the Hornet mascot says he has “officially stepped away” from the position with immediate effect.
It comes after the mascot was criticised by Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson.
Gareth Evans tweeted yesterday afternoon with confirmation of the news, saying, “I have officially stepped away from being the Match Day Mascot at Watford FC. My decision. Proud of what I have achieved, the memories made and the experiences I’ve had – I was privileged and now heavy hearted also. Love you Harry.”
The man behind Watford’s mascot, Harry the Hornet has officially stood down from the role.
Farewell sweet prince & thanks for the memories ?? pic.twitter.com/74NgkFf5Nm
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 13, 2018
I have officially stepped away from being the Match Day Mascot at #watfordfc my decision, proud of what I have achieved, the memories made and the experiences I’ve had – I was privileged and now heavy hearted also. Love you Harry! ??⚽️
— Gareth Evans (@1HHornet) September 13, 2018
The controversy came about when Roy Hodgson was speaking ahead of the Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Watford last month, the manager brought up an incident which happened two years ago where the mascot mocked Wilfried Zaha after the player was was booked for simulation.
“If you’re asking me whether Harry the Hornet, who I presume is the mascot, should dive in that way, I think it’s disgraceful,” the former England boss said. “Because that’s not what football matches are about. If it’s provoking the crowd into looking for something that’s not there, it should be stopped.”
Sam Allardyce said Harry the Hornet was “out of order” for the incident, but the Football Association decided against taking any form of disciplinary action.
After the announcement of his departure, fans of different clubs were quick to pay tribute to Evans online – check out those tweets on the next page.