Roy Hodgson vs Harry the Hornet: Watford mascot did Conor McGregor walk in 2018

  • Rob Swan
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Roy Hodgson is expected to become Watford’s new head coach after Claudio Ranieri was sacked on Monday.

But one Watford employee who might be feeling more nervous than most about the former England manager’s arrival is the club’s mascot, Harry the Hornet.

Yep, that’s right: Harry the Hornet and Hodgson have beef.

Hodgson blasted Harry the Hornet as “disgraceful” during a pre-match press conference before a Premier League clash between his then Crystal Palace side and Watford in August 2018.

Almost two years earlier, Palace winger Wilfried Zaha was mocked by the mascot, who dived at the player’s feet.

Zaha had been booked for diving by referee Mark Clattenburg towards the end of the match at Vicarage Road, despite the fact contact was made.

Sam Allardyce, Palace’s manager at the time, called on the Football Association to take action against the mascot.

“The mascot is out of order, isn’t he? If someone is diving, they don’t get that angry,” Allardyce said in December 2016, per The Guardian. “There’s contact. It wasn’t given.”

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Roy Hodgson slammed Harry the Hornet

The incident had left a sour taste in the mouth of Hodgson, who slammed Harry the Hornet during an inadvertently comical press conference at the start of the 2018-19 season.

“If you’re asking me whether Harry the Hornet, who I presume is the mascot, should dive in that way, I think it’s disgraceful because that’s not what football matches are about,” Hodgson said.

“And certainly if it’s provoking the crowd into ­looking for something that’s not there, it should be stopped.

“I would be very ­disappointed if the Crystal Palace mascot was doing something like that to provoke the crowd against an opponent. And if I found out about it, I would stop it.”

Harry the Hornet does the Conor McGregor walk

Hodgson’s decision to call out Harry the Hornet led the Palace fans chanting “w**ker!, w**ker!” at the mascot before the match got underway.

But Harry took it all in his stride, reacting to the abusive chants by doing the famous Conor McGregor walk.

Watch the footage here:

Hopefully Hodgson and Harry can put their differences to one side when they become colleagues.

The first day at the club’s training ground this week might be a little awkward…

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