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Sports News

Arsenal drives last dinosaur to extinction as mascot made redundant

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - Arsenal v Olympiacos - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - February 27, 2020 Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus poses for a photograph with fans inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/David Klein/File Photo

(Reuters) - Arsenal supporters might have expected the departure of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi on transfer deadline day but not their beloved club mascot.

According to British media reports, Gunnersaurus has been axed as part of cost-cutting measures at the club.

Jerry Quy, who has donned the dinosaur mascot at home matches since 1993, worked for the club and was let go as the role was deemed no longer necessary with no fans expected at the Emirates Stadium anytime soon amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gunnersaurus’ departure has not gone down with Arsenal supporters on social media, with the mascot trending sixth on Twitter in the UK.

An online fundraiser on GoFundMe here was started in solidarity with Quy and nearly 1,000 pounds ($1,296.20) has already been raised.

“Gunnersaurus has been the Arsenal club mascot for 27 years. He’s a club icon and we cannot let him become extinct,” a statement on the page read.

In August, Arsenal decided to layoff 55 staff members as a result of the financial impact of the pandemic but Quy, a part-timer, was not among them.

Arsenal refused to discuss personal staff information but said Gunnersaurus will “always be an important part of the club” and will return when fans are allowed back at matches.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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