Want to know how Lanky got his job? Here's his life story...
Lanky the Giraffe was born within walking distance of the Old Trafford ground on May 29th, 2003. His parents hail from the African plains but they had decided to move to Manchester for the damper, somewhat milder climate. Almost as soon as he could walk, Lanky was coming to Old Trafford to watch cricket, and he was immediately transfixed. He couldn’t understand how the crowd knew his name or why they wanted to sing it (‘Oh, Lanky Lanky! Lanky Lanky Lanky Lanky Lancashire…’) He later realised that the song was actually about the team, but when he heard fans shouting ‘Oi, long neck! Get out of the way!’, they were definitely talking to him. From then on, he only ever sat in the back row. Having seen so much cricket from a long way back in the stands, Lanky’s ambition became getting as close as possible to the cricketing action.
He started by having cricket lessons. In theory, he had the right body to be a fast bowler. Being tall, he could send the ball down from a great height, and he was quick across the ground. However, his hooves struggled to even grip the ball, let alone release it with the seam anywhere near he wanted it to be. Lanky found the same problem with batting, which also hurt his back as he constantly had to bend down to take guard. Always eager to play, Lanky started wicket keeping, which he was good at. However, after losing a few teeth, he knew that his unorthodox style of standing up to the stumps to fast bowlers and his inability to find a helmet to fit would never get him in the Lancashire team. Lanky was sad – he really wanted to play a part at Old Trafford.
During his time playing cricket, Lanky never stopped watching Lancashire. He became their biggest fan, learning all about the history of the club and idolising the great players like Mike Atherton and Warren Hegg and his best mate Steven Crook. One day, when reading his favourite book, David Lloyd’s autobiography, and munching on leaves, he had a brainwave. Where in England were you most likely to see 7 foot tall animals from all over the globe? He didn’t think they played cricket at Chester Zoo. Apart from that? At sports matches, that’s where! Mascots were appearing at more and more sports clubs, and Lanky knew there wasn’t one at Lancashire. He rang LCCC and arranged an interview. Everyone at Lancashire was amazed at Lanky’s knowledge and huge support for the club. He got the job!
Now Lanky can be seen at the side of the pitch – closer to the action than anyone else – during Lancashire matches. He still has to duck when a ball is being bowled, though! He loves meeting Thunderbolts because they remind him of when he was a young giraffe learning all about the game. Away from cricket, he loves to run. Lanky recently completed the 10k Great Manchester Run in a staggering 1 hour 59 seconds! He was certainly staggering by the end.
So now you know Lanky a little better, and you know why he enjoys match days so much! Make sure you give him a big wave when you see him next!