Jenni Carroll may admit to hating football but she found a creative way to support her husband Mark’s passion for Pools by helping the club with a new costume for H’Angus the Monkey.
The talented 31-year-old is a nurse by profession but she’s spent the last three summers trying to breathe new life in to an outfit worn by Pools' monkey mascot which had seen better days.
Mark is an avid Pools fan who travels home and away to cheer the team on and even arranged for H’Angus to make a surprise appearance at their wedding in 2015.
And that would seem to have been Jenni’s first step to becoming our mascot’s personal seamstress.
“I got involved in repairing the suit purely by accident,” she said. “I actually hate football and only met H’Angus when I organised for him to come to our wedding as a surprise to Mark because I knew how much he would love it!
“Then he also came to an annual fancy dress garden party that my mother organises to raise money for St Luke’s Church – it was a jungle theme one year so it seemed perfect to invite H’Angus along.
“I was dressed as a zebra for the party and Michael Evans (who plays H’Angus) asked me about the outfit and I told him that I made it myself; I’ve always been quite arty and creative.
“He asked whether I could help with some repairs to the H’Angus costume and I just agreed. That was back in 2015 and I’ve been carrying out running repairs ever since to keep it ticking over.
“However, at the end of last season it got to the stage where H’Angus had bald knees and elbows, and the head had seen better days too – I am quite skilled but I just couldn’t repair it any longer.
“New suits can cost thousands of pounds so I was happy to try and make one and help the club save some money – so I made the jump suit and hands fairly easily.
“I have to be honest though, I didn’t know what to do with the head, that’s beyond my capabilities. I ended up getting some materials from an industrial company and carving the head from a single block of polystyrene!
“I didn’t charge for any of the labour, I only covered the costs – it’s just my way of helping the club, keeping H’Angus looking presentable and supporting my husband at the same time.
Jenni admits that football has never really played a part in her life and that a trip to Pools would not have crossed her mind before she met Mark – and now she’s had to adjust.
She says she spent over 200 hours just on working on the new head for H’Angus, with many more hours spent putting together the new suit and hands.
““I’m not a costume designer by trade and I don’t have that kind of career in mind but I knew Michael was in need of a new suit so it’s just a nice way of supporting the club for someone who doesn’t even like football!”