Bradford City is replacing its mascot, the "City Gent," after the man playing him for 19 years lost too much weight. Be warned, this story is very British.
Lenny Berry has served as the Bantams' mascot since 1994, portraying the City Gent, a jolly, portly character modeled after the club's former chairman, Stafford Heginbotham. (So British!) But after being diagnosed with diabetes (or in British, "the sugar-woozies"), Berry lost about 100 pounds from his 250-pound frame.
“In the case of The City Gent, the main issue was his physical appearance, which was much changed from the original concept...We agreed that action needed to be taken."
Part of the move might be the fact that Berry is 59, getting up there in years, and Bradford City will be competing in League One for the first time since 2007. A shiny new Gent might be just the thing for a club that hasn't had much to be proud of in a while. But one can't but feel bad for Berry, who, since the Upper Class Twit of the Year is no longer contested, will struggle to fill the Gent-sized hole in his life.
“I used to have supporters chant things at me, like ‘who ate all the pies’. I used to get them going and then grab my belly.
“I’m am absolutely gutted. I am a grown man and this is something I have cried over."
Berry was given the option of wearing a sumo suit, but declined. There's just no place left for true gents.