Here’s the Europa 80 mascot, which fits the bill on all three headline counts and serves to underline what a weird sort of tournament the Euros have always been…
Pinnochio was, of course, a wooden child-cum-toy with a nose like an Italian flag and a Happy Meal hat to match its clown hair. Just a couple of decades behind the times, the Euro bods had finally woken up to the possibilities of wheeling out a World Cup Willie-style mascot for fans to roundly ignore. And slowly, grudgingly, the Euros began to shape up and become a proper tournament, like their big brother the World Cup.
Now every tournament would need a mascot. France 1984’s Péno was a footballing cock with white gloves. Germany 88’s Berni was a rabbit with wristbands, as was Sweden 92’s sadly anonymous, er, rabbit with wristbands. England’s own Goaliath for Euro 96 was – top marks for originality here – World Cup Willie.
We’ll wheel out some pics of these crimes against sanity in good time. Meanwhile, here’s this year’s tournament’s double-header mascot, Jedward.
Get in early for Father’s Day! Got, Not Got recently came second in the BSBA’s Football Book of the Year 2012, featuring tons of tearjerking old football stuff and cheap jibes at the expense of the modern game. Betty Windsor is probably buying one for Prince Phil from Princess Anne… here