My son Connor was recently a mascot at STFC as a birthday present. George and Brenda Chadwick have been hosting mascots at the County Ground for 35 years. They are a lovely couple and made us all feel welcome. We started the day by having a tour around the stadium. I didn't find this part particularly exciting, but did like the trophy cabinet. There was a cool replica statue of Romulus and Remus (from the Roman foundation myth) nursing from a she-wolf (Lupa), which I especially liked.
Connor enjoyed getting autographs from the players on a football. All of the players were friendly and the kids (mascots and friends) obviously enjoyed meeting them. I couldn't help thinking how young the players all are. One of them (Pritchard) is about the height of my 8-year-old. We saw the opposition (MK Dons) changing room and the Swindon changing room. There was also a small room which held the disjointed corpse of Rockin' Robin. Thankfully it turned out not to be his corpse - it is apparently a costume, so there was no need to call the RSPCA. None of the kids seemed to be traumatised.
We also met the manager, Mark Cooper, who was good at talking to the kids. He presented them all with a certificate. My husband Mike said that he had been a mascot back in the 1980s, and, as if on cue, the goalkeeper on that day, Fraser Digby, appeared. There was a nice feeling of family tradition. We then had a three course lunch. The boys were allowed to eat the same posh food as the adults. They all spurned that and went for chicken and chips.
Soon the mascots went off to change and go to play kick-about on the pitch before the game. Rockin' Robin joined them in his usual refined way. I was allowed to go onto the pitch and take photos. Later the boys ran on with the team. This was definitely a highlight for Connor - he came on with Nathan Thompson.
We then went into the posh seats to enjoy the game. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the game. Unfortunately we was robbed but it was a game of two halves, as they say.
After the game, man of the match Troy Archibald-Henville joined us in the Sponsors Suite and posed for photos with the mascots.
I had a good day and am not even a football fan. Highly recommended.