The story behind the naming of the club mascot
How many times have you been asked why we carry a stuffed fox into the centre circle ahead of kick off on a match day?
How many times have you been asked why our mascot is a big, fluffy (and thankfully extremely friendly) fox called OLGA?
And how many times have you replied to that particular question with the response – it’s an anagram of GOAL ... obviously!
Well, once and for all, let’s get to the bottom of it.
At the Yeovil Town home game at the end of October we welcomed a young match day mascot called Tommy-Leo Norris. Tommy was accompanied by his grandmother, Heather Beattie, who lives in Dalston.
Heather mentioned that she knew the story of the original fox, which dated back to the start of the last century, and that she would get the details and photographs together and send them into the club so that we could set the record straight.
The letter has since been received, and here’s what she had to say:
“Attached is a photograph of a gentleman called Colonel Salkeld, with his hounds, as he was preparing to go on a fox hunt. The picture was taken in the grounds of Holm Hill, Dalston (now Lime House School) and dates back to around 1912.
“Colonel Salkeld was aware of the connections in the area with John Peel and, having caught a live fox, donated it to the football club. We have been unable to confirm where it was kept, but it was clearly extremely tame as it was put on a lead and walked out onto the pitch ahead of every home game for a number of years.
“When it died it was professionally treated and mounted and it became our match day mascot. The fox remained in the club offices until George Baxter (aka Twinkletoes) started the tradition of carrying it out onto the pitch and that tradition has continued, on and off, until this very day.”
And the name OLGA, although indeed an anagram of goal, came from a source much closer to the Colonel’s home.
The story continues:
“Colonel Salkeld had a daughter named Olga so he asked for that to become the name of the original live fox. That stuck through the years and the name became associated with the club’s mascot as a matter of course.”
But we’re sure the Colonel won’t mind if we continue to refer to the odd goal or two as we answer those much asked questions.