(Reuters) - Supporters of Bristol Rugby have lashed out at the club’s decision to rebrand themselves as the ‘Bristol Bears’ for their return to the Premiership next season.
The club said in a statement they hoped the name change, and the adoption of a bear in the club’s logo, would “attract a whole new generation of supporters” and inspire success.
However, the move has upset some fans, who say it goes against over 130 years of tradition and leaves them open to ridicule.
“I’m not best pleased,” Bristol Rugby Supporters Club treasurer Mike West told BBC Sport. “I’m absolutely puzzled why they didn’t consult the Bristol Rugby Supporters Club...
“I’m confused about why - this is a club that has been around since 1888 and is one the oldest rugby clubs that still exists at the highest levels.
“I don’t understand why they have suddenly contorted the name after 130 years without some reference.”
West said rival fans would have a field day.
“In the Premiership next season the opposition fans will surely be calling us Yogis, or Boo Boos or the Fuzzies,” he added.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford