LAST week I touched on mascots, namely Clyde, Glasgow’s friendly face from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and our cuddly friend (no, not Susan Egelstaff again) for the 2018 European Championships, Bonnie the Seal.

Too late for last week’s offering was the SPFL’s mascot race at Hamilton Park’s Lanark Silver Bell meeting. The race was won by Queen of the South’s Dougie the Doonhamer, who finished ahead of Stenhousemuir’s Wally the Warrior and Hoopy the Huddle Hound of Celtic.

Unplaced was Kingsley, Partick Thistle’s representative, who looking the way they did, was probably drug tested immediately.

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Now, I would never be one to cast aspersions as to the identity of those inside the costumes and get-ups, but Dougie the Doonhamer looked extremely fast and athletic for a mascot.

Not surprisingly, a few of the other competitors called foul, and, believed a ‘ringer’ had been involved. We may not have heard the last of this.

It reminded me of a story I was once told by a couple of former wrestlers who were a man short for a show, so one guy fought twice, the second time while wearing a mask.

What could go wrong? Try your fellow conspirator and opponent ripping the mask off ...

LIKE many, I read with interest that former England fly-half Toby Flood is considering switching his allegiance to play for Germany, birthplace of his grandfather who left in 1936.

My friend, Andy Travers, has occasionally let slip that his Scotland career was a non-starter having played twice for Switzerland at international level.

He qualified because he was studying there - or as he calls that period, ‘the Toblerone Years’ - hence his less svelte frame today.

Mmm, Toblerone beer.

PATRICK, or should I call him ‘Paddy’ Roberts, made his return to Celtic this week, another year-long stay in Glasgow sanctioned by his parent club, Manchester City.

Roberts, given his normal starting position, and the availability of the number, was prescribed the No.7 shirt. And a great fuss was made over the very fact that he followed in the footsteps of legendary number sevens like Jimmy Johnstone and Henrik Larsson, so a ready-made photo opportunity was available for all.

Of course, that wouldn’t have been the case if the seven shirt had been retired when Larsson departed Paradise, as some advocated.

Umpteen years on, that’s still a bonkers idea.

TALKING of numbers, Renato Sanches, Swansea’s new on-loan recruit from Bayern Munich, had his ambitions of returning to the No.85 shirt he wore with Benfica scuppered by the English Premier League.

So, he has to accept 35. A non-story, if you ask me.

Anyway, players picking their numbers is nothing new.

Johan Cruyff was always No.14 with Ajax and the Netherlands, and, just count up how many first-pick ‘keepers in France wear 16 after Fabien Barthez and his demarcation during the 1998 World Cup.

Thankfully such madness hasn’t really reached Scotland. Well, if you exclude Derek Riordan. But he was always ‘01’ - at least in his own mind.