Our new mascot, Lionel Nessie, was unveiled at today’s IRN-BRU Scottish Challenge Cup Final against Dumbarton at McDiarmid Park, Perth. He arrived just in time for the big game to greet the Inverness fans and he will make regular appearances at future ICT home games.
Chairman Graham Rae explained that the idea of introducing a new mascot was suggested at a fans forum earlier in the season to enhance the match day experience of supporters. Some fans were disappointed that the previous Nessie mascot was no longer appearing at games.
Season ticket holders Bob and Kath Fraser, from Cradlehall, Inverness, had been thinking of the idea for some time and suggested to Graham that Lionel Nessie would be a great name for the mascot.
Graham said: “I was immediately taken with the idea. Nessie lives right on our doorstep and draws thousands of tourists from throughout the world to our area every year. For the football context, Lionel Messi is one of the best players ever to have played the game. Messi rhymes with Nessie – and so we have the splendid combination of Lionel Nessie.
“I’m sure he will be a great favourite with our supporters and when better to unveil our secret weapon than at our cup final tomorrow. Mr and Mrs Fraser will be guests of the club when Lionel makes his debut at our stadium.”
Lionel Nessie is sponsored by the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, who have been supporters of ICTFC since the club’s formation in 1994.
Robbie Bremner, Managing Director of the Loch Ness Centre, said: “We are delighted to again be involved in sponsoring the ICTFC mascot and supporting our local team. Nessie is known worldwide and we hope that Lionel will encourage as many young supporters as possible to come along and support ICT now and into the future as well as giving us the edge in the final on Saturday.”