Holly Willoughby and Jack Whitehall have joined the list of celebrities – including Arsenal supporter Piers Morgan – to gather support for Gunnersaurus following his sacking by the club.
The Gunners’ loveable mascot was sacked after 27 years of service on transfer deadline day as part of the club’s latest Covid-19 financial cuts.
Jerry Quy had played the role of the dinosaur mascot since its establishment in 1993, but was let go a few hours before the north London side announced the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
Arsenal fans have since set up a GoFundMe page to save aiming to save the club’s mascot and has already raised more than £8,500.
The club have also confirmed Quy had left his post as they strive to dowork more efficiently but insisted the beloved mascot will return.
Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for Arsenal to reverse their decision and pleading with boss Mikel Arteta and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to intervene.
And he has now been joined by This Morning presenter Willoughby and comedian Whitehall in trying to stop the mascot becoming ‘extinct’.
Willoughby wrote on Instagram: ‘ Very very sad to hear the news that @officialgunnersaurus has been released by @arsenal. He was at my son Harry’s 1st birthday and he’s a hero in our house!
‘He’ll never be extinct in our eyes. Bring back Gunnersaurus!’
Whitehall meanwhile added: ‘The streets will never forget,’ with a picture of the mascot while former Arsenal forward Ian Wright said: Terrible news. Love you Jerry.
‘Surely Jerry comes back when the fans come back????,’ Wright added.
Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan also tweeted on Monday, saying ‘You’re going nowhere @Gunnersaurus. I refuse to let @Arsenal sack you. Come on @m8arteta @Aubameyang7 – this is not what our club is about. #savegunnersaurus,’ he tweeted along with a series of angry emojis.
Former Speaker of the House of Commons and fellow Gunners fan John Bercow also got behind the movement, appearing on a Good Morning Britain interview with a poster of the dinosaur mascot in the background.
Sevilla appeared to make a late deadline day swoop for the sacked mascot by tweeting a picture of Gunnersaurus in response to a post asking: ‘Which player would you like your club to sign today?’
After several hours of intense negotiations later and with little time to spare, Sevilla got their dinosaur – returning to Twitter to share a shot of Gunnersaurus dressed in a Sevilla shirt and cap.
But they were not the only foreign club to express their support, with Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon quoting the famous Toy Story line ‘You’ve got a friend in me @Gunnersaurus’, with the picture of their mascot and Gunnersaurus.
Fans also expressed their sorrow with some emotional tweets after the mascot’s long service to the club.
One wrote: ‘Til we meet again #savegunnersaurus’, while another added: ‘Me and this ledge back in 2012. Gonna miss you bud, sad times’, with a sad emoji face.
Another supporters also called on Arsenal to reverse their decision, adding: ‘As a kid (and adult!) I was also so excited to see the beautiful beast, he is part of the DNA of our club. Please don’t do this Arsenal.’
Gunnersaurus’ axing has been blamed on the coronavirus crisis leaving Arsenal’s finances in tatters, with Quy’s part-time role no longer required alongside 55 other redundancies at the Emirates.
Because Quy’s role is part-time, his departure is not counted among the 55 redundancies but is part of the same cost-cutting process.
Quy has shown his dedication to following the Gunners home and away since 1963.
His loyalty to the club even reportedly led to him missing his brother’s wedding in order to attend a home game.