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  Sunday, 29 September, 2002, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Olympian helps Chaddy to glory
Chaddy the Owl breaks clear of the field
Chaddy the Owl blitzed a top-class mascot field
A wise old owl today claimed the title of fastest football club mascot in England after taking tips from one of the world's greatest athletes.

Oldham Athletic mascot Chaddy The Owl - in real life, male model Kev Williams, 28 - romped home in the fourth annual Ladbrokes Mascot Grand National in Cambridge.

Mr Williams finished third in 2000 and second last year and was determined to be first at the post this time.

To help with his training he logged on to a special internet fitness website set-up by Australian sprint champion Cathy Freeman.


I was determined to win this year
Chaddy The Owl

Controversy dogged the race last year, when winner Freddie the Fox was disqualified after it was discovered he was in fact Olympic hurdler Matthew Douglas.

And there was further controversy this year when Scunny Bunny - who kept his true identity under wraps - objected to the size of Chaddy The Owl's footwear.

"We considered a complaint that he wasn't wearing regulation pantomime boots from Scunny Bunny," said a racecourse spokesman.

"But we are happy that everything was above board and the result should stand."

Captain Canary warms up - but failed to make an impact
Norwich's Captain Canary limbers up

Watford's Harriet The Hornet came second with Phoney Pony, from the Yorkshire Dales Trekking Centre, third.

After the race, Chaddy The Owl said: "I was determined to win this year.

"Last year I came second - after the hurdler had been disqualified - but I was messed about with a lot at the start or I think I would have won.

"A lot of mates had put money on me to win this year so I have been training really hard and I got Cathy Freeman's training programme off the internet and used that.

"They thought I was an athlete - I am flattered. But I was able to give them my birth date and show them my credit cards to prove that I really am the Oldham mascot.

"My boots are regulation mascot boots. They are much bigger than normal boots. And I won fair and square."

Organisers said the mascot race has raised in excess of 20,000 for charity since it was launched.

See also:

03 May 02 | Funny Old Game
17 Jan 02 | Funny Old Game
07 Dec 01 | Funny Old Game
01 Oct 01 | Sports Talk
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