Holly Willoughby has hit out at Premier League’s Arsenal for ditching their iconic Gunnersaurus mascot in a cost-cutting exercise.
The 39-year-old This Morning co-host said she was “very, very sad” that Jerry Quy, who has been in the costume since 1993, had been made redundant by Arsenal’s bosses.
The TV personality posted a throwback photo of herself with the dinosaur mascot, who is decked in an Arsenal shirt and paraphernalia, after he helped her son Harry, now 11, celebrate his first birthday.
In a sweet tribute to the Gunnersaurus mascot on Monday night, Holly is seen hugging the dinosaur as it visits them in her garden.
Holly’s husband Dan Baldwin is a long-time Arsenal supporter and she wrote in the caption: “So very very sad to hear the news that @officialgunnersaurus has been released by @arsenal
“He was at my son Harry’s 1st birthday and he’s a hero in our house!
“He’ll never be extinct in our eyes. Bring back Gunnersaurus! #dinohero #legend”
In the photo, Holly holds a glass of bubbly in her hands and is barefoot while wearing a tiara as she celebrates the special guest at Harry’s party.
Holly calling for the reinstatement of Jerry in the dino costume after 27 years at the club echoes a wave of support for him on social media, with the club being criticised for releasing him amid the coronavirus crisis.
Arsenal have made 55 non-playing staff redundant since August but there has been disappointment that Gunnersaurus was the next out of the door.
Famous Gunners fan, Piers Morgan, joined the outcry, declaring in a tweet: “You’re going nowhere @Gunnersaurus.
“I refuse to let @Arsenal sack you. Come on @m8arteta @Aubameyang7 – this is not what our club is about. #savegunnersaurus”.
There isn’t football solidarity in the Willoughby household though, as much to Dan’s despair, their son has chosen Chelsea as his team and celebrated this with a birthday cake in honour of the Blues for his sixth birthday.
Holly has credited Chelsea boss Frank Lampard for turning Chester onto the team he manages and Holly admitted it is “killing” husband Dan.
She wrote on Instagram at the time: “If anyone knows my @arsenal loving husband you’ll know how much this Cake for Chester’s birthday is killing him… I blame you entirely @franklampard…
“However that’s our boy all over… marching to the beat of his own drum, spreading absolute joy wherever he goes … We love you so very much Chester Chops… how is my beautiful baby 6 already!”
Frank was quick to help rub Chester’s allegiance to his club in the face of Dan by commenting: “Happy Birthday Chester my little Chelsea friend.
“The boy just has amazing taste in his football teams. Next stop a Chelsea cake for Dan on his birthday and my work is done. Hope he has a great day. X”
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