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Red card for Rockin' Robin

HIS antics have entertained the crowds at home and away. But Wrexham FC's mascot Rockin' Robin has been given the red card.

HIS antics have entertained the crowds at home and away. But Wrexham FC's mascot Rockin' Robin has been given the red card.

One of the Football League's most familiar figures, Rockin' is a household name to young football fans across North Wales.

But now we can reveal that the huge red mascot will be axed for next season.

Rockin' will make way for Wrex the Dragon, Wrexham FC's new mascot.

The dragon's debut will take place when Wrexham take on Manchester United in a testimonial match for Brian Flynn and Kevin Reeves on Saturday, August 4, at the Racecourse.

So far no pictures are available of the star in waiting, but Wrexham FC want to unveil him in a blaze of publicity.

Rockin' Robin has been a loyal servant of the Reds since his introduction in 1998, performing before the fans at the Racecourse, to the delight of children.

His distinctive, chirpy face and buoyant demeanour have come to personify the lighter side of the Reds.

However, a change of nickname for the football club means, sadly, the popular character will have to say farewell and fly off into the sunset.

Recently, fans voted overwhelmingly to support a change of nickname from The Robins to the Red Dragons.

New commercial manager Christian Smith said that with the change of second name there had to be a change of mascot.

He said: "Rockin' Robin will have to have to fly south I am afraid. He will be replaced by the new mascot, Wrex The Dragon."

But it is not just Robin who will be departing the Racecourse. Over the years, the star has started a family with girlfriend Tina Turfit and toddler Robinson. They too will have to pack their bags and move on with Rockin' Robin.

The reason behind the family's departure is a radical new move behind the scenes to modernise Wrexham FC.

The club has already officially changed its nickname to the Red Dragons to establish a more solid identification with Wales.

It has been overshadowed by recent wranglings in the board-room but Wrexham FC want to relaunch Wrex when the dust has settled.

The man who created Rockin' Robin, former commercial manager Allan Thomas, has also left the club for pastures new.

But Mr Smith paid tribute to the good work of Rockin' Robin over the years and said he had helped to raise the profile of the club.

He said: "Rockin' Robin has done a lot of good work promoting Wrexham over the years. The importance of mascots should not be underestimated in the long-term future of a club. Children around the ages of seven years old identify more with the mascot than the players and it creates an interest in the club which they gradually can become more involved in. "But I will say that Wrex will be more active and will not be starting a family, he will be solo."

Ben Hodgson, assistant community officer for Wrexham FC's Football in the Community youth programme, said: "He has been popular with the youngsters but he has been around for some years now and it is time for a change. Introducing Wrex is taking the club a step further." Carroll Clark, chairman of Wrexham AFC Supporters' Association, said supporters were backing the move.

He said: "We certainly have no problem with Wrexham changing the mascot and would support the move.

"Rockin' Robin is aimed at youngsters and has done a good job raising the profile of the club out but I can understand that Wrex the Dragon is more a symbol of Wales and we feel that is an appropriate change."

"We have had mixed reactions on the website but to be honest most of them have been light-hearted and I don't think anybody is really taking it too seriously."



David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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