FLAG protest leader Jamie Bryson has been angered that several newspapers have highlighted his brief stint as mascot for the Northern Ireland football team.
The front page of yesterday’s Irish News carried a picture of the Bangor man dressed as the football-headed ‘Footie’ with the oversized boots.
In a statement, the Irish Football Association said Mr Bryson – who is the interim chairman of the Ulster People’s Forum – had been used as a last-minute replacement for the normal mascot, who had taken ill ahead of the home match against Azerbaijan last November.
A spokesman for the IFA told the newspaper: “Mr Bryson stood in at the last minute. This was a one-off.
“Mr Bryson is not involved in any of the association’s community relations projects.”
In the aftermath of yesterday’s media coverage, Mr Bryson said on Facebook: “Never mind the fact we have the GAA glorifying and parading terrorists around – was delighted to be mascot and stand in front of the Kop with all the Union and Ulster Flags waving as my fellow Ulstermen and women stood for the national anthem of Northern Ireland.”