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Friday, April 23, 1999 Published at 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK


Dancing swan has wings clipped

Cyril: Flung his wings around Swansea scorer

Controversial football mascot Cyril the Swan has been banned from the touchline and fined 1,000 for a single-handed pitch invasion.

The BBC's Matthew Richards reports on Cyril's antics, on and off the pitch
Swansea City's 9ft-tall crowd-pleaser was charged by the Football Association of Wales with bringing the game into disrepute after celebrating a home goal by dancing on the pitch.

He was reported by a referee during the Third Division side's 3-0 FA Cup win over Millwall last November. As well as dancing with delight, Cyril flung his wings around scorer Martin Thomas.

The BBC's Mark Hutchings: The mascot ran onto the pitch and put an embracing wing around scorer Martin Thomas
Swansea were fined 1,000 for Cyril's actions and another 1,000 for fans throwing missiles on the pitch during the same match.

Cyril was called up to give evidence to an FAW disciplinary panel in his full fancy dress outfit.

And following a four-hour meeting the panel banned Cyril from running the line while the players are on the pitch.

Secret swan

Panel Chairman Alun Evans said: "For the moment, the mascot cannot go to the side of the pitch until the players have left the field of play.

"We are drawing up a code of conduct for mascots."

Peter Day, Swansea City Chief Executive, said: "It was just exuberance on Cyril's behalf."

One of Manchester United's top solicitors spoke for Cyril, who is called a "mute swan" by Swansea.

The true identity of Cyril is a closely-guarded secret at the Vetch Field, where he has become a cult figure, even releasing a CD called Nice One Cyril, Nice One Son.

Fans launched a "Cyril is innocent" campaign with banners on the terraces and the swan has received letters of support from mascots at other league clubs.

Trouble on the touchline

Cyril has been in hot water before and was banned by the club for two matches after clashing with Norwich City director of football Bryan Hamilton during a Worthington Cup tie.

He is not the only mascot to make the headlines.

Last March, Aston Villa's mascot Hercules the Lion was sacked for unprofessional behaviour. He hugged and kissed Miss Aston Villa, and insisted his actions were in jest.

And Bristol City's match with Wolves last year was marred by a on-field punch-up before the game between a wolf and a pig.

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