WOMBLE SAVES THE WED­DING!

Mas­cot races in with the rings...

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Sam El­liott

WELL aisle be blown! AFC Wim­ble­don’s mas­cot Hay­don turned Womble-wed­ding crasher at the big day of two of the club’s sup­port­ers – and al­most took a tum­ble at the al­tar!

The happy cou­ple Perry, 25, and He­lena, 22, saw their 85 guests look on per­plexed when the seven-foot furry lit­ter-grab­ber gal­loped to the res­cue through the church af­ter best man Si­mon Bath ‘lost’ the rings at the last minute.

The bride and groom were in on the sur­prise stunt – but glow­ing He­lena, decked in a won­der­ful ivory wed­ding dress, al­most went bright red af­ter her part­ner’s big idea nearly back­fired.

Charged

As stand-in ring bearer Hay­don bashed down the door and charged to­wards the cou­ple, he lost his foot­ing and al­most sent the trea­sured boxes fly­ing.

He­lena ex­plained: “At first we put the plan to­gether so we could en­hance our chances of get­ting on the TV pro­gramme Don’t Tell The Bride – but we didn’t make the cut so went ahead with the plan any­way.

“I only agreed to the idea as a bit of a com­pro­mise. If I hadn’t said yes to the Womble, it would have ended up be­ing a yel­low and blue themed wed­ding and there was no way I was hav­ing that, so I re­lented. It wasn’t my idea but I went along with it.

“Perry is a huge Wim­ble­don fan and I have adopted the Dons as a sec­ond team be­hind my true love, Tot­ten­ham. I’ve had a sea­son ticket since the club were in the Con­fer­ence South in 2008 so I’ve seen a lot re­ally. If I hadn’t gone to the football, he wouldn’t have spent any time with me!

“We staged the fake drama af­ter the vicar asked for the rings. Si­mon did bril­liantly, and ten sec­onds of great act­ing later in came Hay­don – the guests were in fits of laugh­ter. I was wor­ried that half of them wouldn’t get it, but thank­fully they un­der­stood the Wombles and AFC Wim­ble­don con­nec­tion.”

Hay­don, AKA the cou­ple’s good friend Dean Par­sons, even pulled on a tux for the day but the bride’s heart was in her mouth as he ‘res­cued’ the pair when the best man got into a mess.

The crowd-surf­ing mas­cot, who drags wheelie bins around Kingsmeadow and bangs the lids to whip the League Two club’s crowd into ac­tion on match­days, gave the per­for­mance of a life­time. But it al­most made the blooper reel.

The new Mrs Ab­bott added: “It nearly went hor­ri­bly wrong. As Dean ran up to the al­tar he slipped on the car­pet and stum­bled. The rings could have gone fly­ing – could you imag­ine if we had lost them af­ter set­ting the whole thing up!

“Dean is a good friend and af­ter a few drinks on Perry’s stag do in Bournemouth he said ‘let’s do it’ and it went from there.

“It was men­tioned a cou­ple of years ago and I thought it would have been long for­got­ten but clearly not.

Funny

“He said he could sort a tux for the Womble so we spoke to the vicar think­ing he would pour cold wa­ter on the idea but he said ‘it’s your wed­ding!’.

“We just went with it and thank­fully ev­ery­one else saw the funny side. I did have wor­ries but it turned out bril­liantly, it was a lot of fun and it made our day.

“Dean was mag­nif­i­cent, he played his role su­perbly. He turned up in his suit out­side the church so no­body would twig and a few min­utes be­fore nipped off to get changed into the cos­tume.

“He’s a great guy. We needed him at the re­hearsal and he asked if we wanted him to turn up as Hay­don. It was tempt­ing but we didn’t make him do that!”

Lucky Hay­don didn’t go over­ground or un­der­ground at the al­tar!

HERE HE COMES! Hay­don the Womble bursts in with the rings and, insets, the happy cou­ple and their spe­cial guest

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