COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Long live Hennes the Eighth.
Cologne’s popular club mascot, a 12-year-old goat, is stepping down after an 11-year reign due to health reasons.
Hennes, an ever-present at the team’s games who had overseen two relegations, two promotions and a first European campaign in 25 years, has age-related osteoarthritis and will see out his remaining days at the local zoo.
“We do not want our club mascot ever having to stand in pain in the stadium,” Cologne managing director Alexander Wehrle told the club website. “After promotion and the upcoming new season, it is now the perfect conclusion and time for Hennes VIII to enjoy his retirement.”
Hennes is to be given an official farewell at Cologne’s season opening on Sunday, when his successor will be presented in front of thousands of fans.