AFTER 10 years as Newport County mascot Spytty the Dog, Simon Sadler has seen the club through some glorious highs and difficult lows.
The rollercoaster ride peaked last month, as he watched his beloved club win the league at Spytty Park and secure promotion to the Conference after 21 years.
But after a decade of rousing the crowd, Mr Sadler will hang up his collar and wear his Spytty suit for the final time on April 17 after informing the club of his departure earlier this season.
More than 270 people have joined a Facebook campaign to “Save our Spytty”, but despite their pleas for him to stay on Mr Sadler has decided it’s time to go.
Mr Sadler, 33, said: “I’m really flattered they want me to stay. It’s been the greatest job in the world, but the fact is I can’t fit it in around what I’m doing anymore.”
Lloyds TSB worker Mr Sadler is currently doing a four year accountancy degree, and said the demands of Spytty have become too much to juggle with his work commitments.
Mr Sadler, from Lliswerry, originally landed the role after a friend signed him up without him knowing. Since then he has entertained fans at more than 200 home games.
He said: “I will miss it massively. I’ve got many tremendous memories and it’s been a huge part of my life.”
He added that anyone taking over the role will have to be reasonably fit, good with children, and be able to work a crowd - even the away fans.
Mr Sadler said: “After winning promotion, there’s no better time to find someone new for Spytty. It’s the perfect way for me to go out, and I’m convinced the players have got something planned for the 17th!”