WOMBLE SAVES THE WEDDING!
Mascot races in with the rings...
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.
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.
“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