Pools fans hung up on rivals' mascot

FOOTBALL fans "hung" a rival's mascot during pre-match banter at a southern Hartlepool United supporter's club.

A teddy of Watford FC mascot Harry the Hornet was dangled as Hartlepool United's H'Angus the Monkey looked on in a light-hearted moment between fans of both clubs.

Pools supporters had travelled to see their team play the Hertfordshire club in the FA Cup at the weekend.

But it was not far to go for life-long Pools supporter Greg Shumake, secretary at the William Morris Labour Club, in the South Oxhey area of Watford.

Mr Shumake, who was joined by around 70 Pools fans in the club, said: "It was all carried out in the best of humour. The Pools fans were brilliant and the locals are still going on about how great it was.

"I've had a monkey hanging in the bar for the last couple of years, it's become the club's mascot, so we decided to hang the hornet as well at high noon. He's still up there too."

Watford fans had jeered as the blind-folded teddy mascot was hung in homage to the age-old story of a monkey being executed for being a French spy in Hartlepool – and what led to Pools having a monkey mascot with the name H'Angus.

Mr Shumake, 60, said he had been waiting a long time for the clash and was pleased to be joined by fans from the town and members of the South East Poolies supporters group.

But despite Pools going ahead 1-0 during Saturday's game, fans' cup dreams were quickly quashed as Watford came back to win 4-1 in the third round tie.

Mr Shumake, who has lived in the south all his life but who has family from Hartlepool, added: "It was a great day, despite the result.

"It was a dream come true for me to have Pools playing Watford.

"And being a life-long Poolie it makes me very proud to commend the behaviour of the lads and lasses. They were a credit to the club and the town."