06/08/2013 13:59 BST

Bradford City Mascot Steps Down Because He Is Not Fat Enough

A football mascot has decided to step down - because he is no longer fat enough for the role.

Lenny Berry, 59, has been wearing a bowler hat to play Bradford City's City Gent mascot for 20 years.

But after he lost weight for health reasons after being diagnosed with diabetes, he said he felt he could no longer play the portly character.

bradford mascot

Lenny Berry has "cried over" his thiness

"I'm absolutely gutted. I am a grown man and this is something I have cried over," Mr Berry told Bradford's Telegraph & Argus newspaper.

"I used to have supporters chant things at me, like 'who ate all the pies'. I used to get them going and then grab my belly.

"I've always had a good rapport with fans."

Bradford City chief Roger Owen said Mr Berry decided to leave with immediate effect following talks, and that his leaner appearance no longer fitted City Gent's image.

"In the case of The City Gent, the main issue was his physical appearance, which was much changed from the original concept of the then-Chairman, the late Stafford Heginbotham, who styled The City Gent on himself," he said.

"We agreed that action needed to be taken.

"I met Lenny late Friday and he gave me his decision, which he had been pondering for some three weeks.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Lenny for his efforts over what has been a long time, in all weathers and through the various fortunes of the club.

"He has brought fun and enjoyment to many, particularly our fans at the younger end of the age scale, and he finishes with our best wishes for the future, which I understand will include being a season ticket holder somewhere in the stadium."

Bradford City said it will not replace the City Gent as a mascot.