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Poachers Q & A
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01 July 2009 17:16 Post ID: #142841
As you would expect from such a legendary figure its rare and racey and to be honest by far the funniest Q & A we have ever had.

So without further ado here we go.
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01 July 2009 17:17 Post ID: #142842 - in reply to #142841
Not wishing to cause any hassle with Mrs Poacher but who is your favourite other Mascot and Why?



I know I answered this live, but it’s easier to have a think about it afterwards. I have three main ones I think, Lenny who is the Bradford City Gent, Captain Blade from Sheffield Utd and Freddie Fox from Halifax. As mascots we often organise events or get asked to be involved in them, charity gigs, races and games. Lenny, Bladey and Freddie always support mine, without fail and where I can I’ve supported theirs. I have a good rapport with Lenny though, I think the connection between us and Bradford means that our games are always a bit emotional for both of us, and when you share something sad like that it does galvanise your friendship.

My favourite other suit used to be Sammy the Shrimp at Southend – 7ft, shaped like a cucumber, pink….. you can guess what he looked like. I never realised it but my ex girlfriend must have been a Southend fan as she had a minature Sammy the Shrimp in her bottom draw……
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01 July 2009 17:17 Post ID: #142843 - in reply to #142842
Do the kids try to kick you in the bowlaxe?



Not so much. They mainly punch and kick if they’re not supervised properly. I did a presentation for a lads team on the St Giles estate, and I gave up after thirty minutes and went home, the kids were beating me up and the parents encouraging them. It’s not always like that though, I did one for Birchwood Colts in May and they were brilliant, didn’t attack me once.

I did get kicked in the bowlaxe by another mascot, sammy the Stag from Mansfield. The guy inside hated me from a penalty shoot out we had at a game a few seasons back. We were filming at the old Wembley and he was prancing about for the camera’s so I just wellied my penalty in so I could say I’d scored at Wembley. He started moaning about it, but by then I was on my back at the side of the goal ‘doing a Gazza’, so he just strode up and kicked me in the baby maker. I haven’t seen him since but last I heard they had a new fella doing it.
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01 July 2009 17:18 Post ID: #142844 - in reply to #142843
Mr Poacher, Last season you started to go up the steps in the SW, and had some good banter with the fans, which lifted the fans in the Sw, is it something you intend to continue to do next season?



If I’m wanted up there then I’ll head up every time. I came up a few times, but the last time I headed up I didn’t get much reaction – I only want to come up if my presence is welcomed. With a superb initiative like ‘the passionistas’ I don’t want to be seen to be trying to steal anybodys thunder. I think we can all work together to create a superb atmosphere, after all I’m ‘Clanford End’ like most the Stacey West and have been since 1986.
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01 July 2009 17:19 Post ID: #142845 - in reply to #142844
Is there a reason why Poacher puts in very few away appearances? If it is Mrs Poacher making you go shopping get rid.


It’s not Mrs Poacher, I wouldn’t be seen dead in town with her! I actually make most my away trips as a fan, because that’s the only draw back from being Poacher – I miss out on a lot of the matchday experience. I’m a massive Imps fan, cut me in half and I bleed red and white and part of that passion comes from the feeling of belonging. I like to belong to a club, to a part of the ground and occasionally I love that ‘mob mentality’ when everyone comes together before the game and the anticipation rises. I miss that at most home games and like to experience it away. I try and make a few away trips through the year.
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01 July 2009 17:19 Post ID: #142847 - in reply to #142845
How hot is it in that suit in the warmer weather?


We have our own secret messageboard that only mascots can go on, and when we did a survey of ‘top five stupidest questions’ this came out on top! I’m joking it was the most commonly asked and no questioning of a mascot would be complete without it. It’s really, really hot. I can’t quantify it for you I’m afraid, but if I tried I’d say I sweated worse than Abu Hamza at a BNP rally.
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01 July 2009 17:20 Post ID: #142848 - in reply to #142847
On the flip side it must be a comfort on those long cold night games early jan-feb.



No, it’s even worse then, because in the suit it’s really warm and you sweat. A lot. Then I get changed and am still ‘clammy’, and I have to go out and sit down. You’ll spot me in that weather because for the first thirty minutes of the game I look like the only nutter in short sleeves. Then the layer of sweat all over me turns to frost, and I’m suddenly cold and a lot smellier than anyone sat within a hundred metre radius. No I prefer the nice neutral September afternoon, or the summer evenings where there’s a cool breeze. My missus prefers me to sit three seats away and not touch her until I’ve showered. Twice.
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01 July 2009 17:20 Post ID: #142849 - in reply to #142848
How much can you actually see out of the head bit? Always makes me laugh when mascots try to take penalties etc.


Depends which head. Every time there’s a change of Poacher there’s a change of visibility and this season is no different. The club have secured funding for a new suit this season, and its first outing is this weekend so I’ll let you know more then. I’ve struggled in the latest incarnation for visbility, mainly because I now need glasses and can’t wear them in the suit!

I recall when we did the march around town to save the Imps back in 2002, I had a bucket of change and we were walking past The Varsity. Due to my limited visibility I thought the coast was clear, but at shin / knee height the council had placed a bench. I walked straight into it and fell tail over horn onto the floor, chucking money everywhere. I had to get up and march on, despite the fact I was in agony. I actually took two days off work after that.
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01 July 2009 17:21 Post ID: #142850 - in reply to #142849
As Mascots go ours is a good one have you any ideas on how you / the fans could work better together? The Cods one for instance is always getting the pontoon going.



Nothing immediately springs to mind. I’ve always wished I had a song that the Railway End sang to me, or something like that, as whenever I’ve been away and the fans react with the home mascot I get a bit jealous. Anything I can do to interact with the fans I will – maybe you chant for me to come in the end, and I take a run up and vault the wall like the ‘oooooooooooooooooooo poa-cha’ as I vault in? I’ll listen to any idea’s at all, I love the job and the only thing that will make it even better is to be more involved with the crowd. One of my only regrets is as I don’t have a season ticket (I do get in for free) so both me and the missus don’t have allocated seats so we can’t join the passionista’s.

One thing though – could whoever keeps chanting ‘get your **** out for the lads’ to my missus (my real missus not the abomination that is Mrs Poacher) pack it in? Every time they do I have to get my **** out as a joke to make her feel comfortable again and it’s chaffing my nipples something rotten.

With regards the Cod’s mascot – he is very good but nearly ended up in a punch up with Nick Oxberry before the home game last season – not that Nick knew anything about it. I think I’d said in the Echo that Grimsby was a hell hole, and Nick came across to discuss that point with me and The Mariner. I tried to be reasonable and say ‘Grimsby isn’t great but Cleethorpes is ok….” Etc etc, but Nick kept on and on about it. Suddenly The Mariner just flipped and started getting really, really aggressive. I hade to escort our cod headed friend from the bar and continue to drink outside, and yet Nick still came out and continued the rant at Grimsby.
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01 July 2009 17:22 Post ID: #142851 - in reply to #142850
Are Hull fans your favourite fans?


No. I got a great reception at Bradford which may have been because I wore their charity appeal T-Shirt, but my favourite fans from last season were Aldershot on the last day, they all came in fancy dress and I got in amongst them for a few photo’s. I can probably count Scunthorpe as my least favourite fans after York – the York ones ripped my head off back when they were in the league and started playing volleyball with it, whilst I stood there looking a prize tw@t. We won 3-0 though so alls well that ends well.

I did a 3km run in Hull in March for a local charity though and bumped into some proper rough Hull fans outside who were really nice to me because I was there supporting their charity, so Hull fans aren’t so bad.
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01 July 2009 17:22 Post ID: #142854 - in reply to #142851
Why do you not like going to away games, I.e are you to afraid of that spotty dog or stupid cat?


I’ve covered this further up, but I’m not afraid of any mascot…. Bar one. At the Mascot National we suspected that the Saffron Walden mascot ‘Wacky Macky Bear’ was probably a ringer trying to win it for glory, so I suggested we hammer him before the game. I didn’t mean beat him up, just all bundle him so he couldn’t win, or tie him up or something – proper had a go on the messageboard. Anyway at the national I met him, 6ft 4 inches of doorman from the Sunderland area, involved with saffrom Walden youth set up, kids club and everything. He seemed a real nice guy. Some fool on the day gave him the mascot messageboard address and he logged on and basically suggested me and him meet up to discuss him removing my limbs. Luckily there no chance of them getting into the league, so I may give the mascot national a miss this year just to avoid a kicking.
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01 July 2009 17:23 Post ID: #142855 - in reply to #142854
Were you really robbed out of the 1st place at the mascot grand national?


Not 1st place no, but I’d have been top ten which is gobsmacking as I’m really unfit. I was just shooting along and suddenly this boar came from nowhere and knocked my flying. I actually thought it was the guy from Bournemouth who did it, but discovered after a quiet word with him discovered it wasn’t. By the sounds of the last two answers I may have got a bit aggressive at the national!! Thing is the Boar represented some book, and wasn’t a real mascot and joking aisde it can be quite dangerous, and here’s some muppet running with the head twisted sideways not looking at whats going on. The Echo investigated and discovered who’d knobbled me, and we invited the boar up for re run on bonfire night but surprisingly it declined. Best thing as well as it was going down.
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01 July 2009 17:23 Post ID: #142856 - in reply to #142855
Are there any plans for Mr and Mrs Poacher to have the patter of tiny paws around the place in the near future?

No. Mrs Poacher is actually a guy and I don’t twist that way. I do have a minature Poacher my Aunty made me one Christmas, so technically I do have a baby Poacher. Plus it’s debatable whether I have paws, surely that’s a dog or a cat? I’d say an Imp has hooves.
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01 July 2009 17:24 Post ID: #142858 - in reply to #142856
Do Imps actually know about birth control methods?


Not having the necessary organs probably rules out potential pregnancies in an Imps world, but I’m sure we are both aware of the dangers of unsafe sex. Before anyone thinks it by the way – no I have never used any part of the suit for that.
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01 July 2009 17:25 Post ID: #142860 - in reply to #142858
Have you chanced going back to the cathedral after what happened to your brother?


Funny you should say that, I was doing a charity day up at the castle the other week and planned to go in for a look about, I thought it’d be really good promotion for the club and maybe the cathedral to. I wanted to clear it with the cathedral first though, after all I don’t want to offend the man upstairs do I! Unfortunately on the day it hammered down with rain so badly I didn’t even get to do the bit round the castle, I just spent the afternoon drinking in the Tower Hotel without the fur on.
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01 July 2009 17:25 Post ID: #142862 - in reply to #142860
On a serious note what is the most heart warming thing you have done as a mascot?


There’s a lot that I do that for clubs, schools and charities that warms the heart, but I’d rather not talk loads about it as that’s not what I do it for. If I’m being really honest one thing that always warms my heart is when at an normal game someone brings their child up to me and says ‘It’s his first game today’ or ‘They are massive Poacher fans’. I identify with that parent and that child because I remember my Dad taking me as a youngster and me being overawed by everything around me. If my presence at a game sticks in that childs mind and helps cement that whole ‘father & son’ relationship (or mother and daughter) then that warms my heart. Sentimental I know but it does. My granddad was a massive Imps fan, standing on the terraces in the 1960’s and that passed on to my Dad and subsequently that’s passed on to me. I a massive believer in football and family tradition and everytime I see that being played out in front of me it really gives me a kick. I even remember a little girl of about four drawing me a picture one week at school and bringing it to the game, I pinned it on my fridge like it had been drawn by my own family.

Sorry to ramble ;-)
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01 July 2009 17:26 Post ID: #142863 - in reply to #142862
Can we as fans help you or Alan with the pre match build up?


Yeah of course. Any idea’s that fans have we are willing to listen. Alan and I have both identified a need to ‘shake up’ the pre match routine, after all we’ve now worked together for 11 years around roughly the same formula. We plan to meet every pre season but don’t manage to for one reason or another. We are both passionate about creating a unique match day experience if we can, and it’s helped when City do well on the pitch. It’s hard to whip up any enthusiasm for the game ahead on a Tuesday night at home to Accrington, especially on the back of three straight defeats. I think the Passionista idea is a step in the right direction. We do all need to work together because ultimately we can make Sincil Bank into a fortress.
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