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Man behind Watford's Harry the Hornet quits after Roy Hodgson brands mascot 'disgraceful'

Watford mascot Harry the Hornet caused controversy for taunting Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha
Watford mascot Harry the Hornet caused controversy for taunting Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha.

After 10 years in the suit, Gareth Evans is calling time on his stint embodying one of English football's most well-known giant insects.

While the name might not be instantly familiar, Evans has spent the last decade bringing Harry the Hornet, Watford's club mascot, to life on matchday.

In a statement on Twitter, he revealed he was "proud" of his legacy but, with a "heavy heart," would be stepping aside:

As you may recall, Harry hit the headlines recently after being branded "disgraceful" by Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson before a game against Watford last month.

Specifically, Hodgson was angered after being reminded that a mascot had mocked Wilfried Zaha after the Palace winger was booked for diving in a previous meeting between the two sides.

"If you're asking me whether Harry the Hornet, who I presume is the mascot, should dive in that way, I think it's disgraceful," Hodgson said before their meeting on Aug. 26.

"But of course teams try to take every advantage they can ... I would be very disappointed if the Palace mascot was doing something like that to provoke the crowd against an opponent. And if I found out about it, I would stop it."

The storm quickly blew over and Harry managed to behave himself during the 2-1 home win at Vicarage Road, but the whole escapade only served to add to his notoriety and may just have hastened his departure.

Watford have not confirmed publicly when, or even if, they will recruit a replacement to don the yellow-and-black suit, but Evans hinted that a new mascot would be in place soon in a reply to one fan on Twitter

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