Express & Star

Walsall gets red-dy for Wembley

Hoppy the hippo is red-dy to support the Saddlers after being kitted out in club colours ahead of Wembley.


The iconic sculpture has been temporarily coated in Walsall FC red as cup fever grips the town.

The hippo has been decorated by artist Sarah Watts of the Human Canvas studio in the town centre.

It comes as Walsall FC, Homeserve and the council have launched the 'We're with Walsall' initiative to encourage people to show their support for the club and borough.

Fans and visitors to the town are now being encouraged to come and take selfies with the concrete hippo which dates back more than 40 years.

It has recently moved from The Bridge to a temporary location outside Walsall Central Library to allow for regeneration works.

The notorious sculpture has even found its way onto Facebook, with a Walsall Hippo Statue Appreciation page set up in its honour.

Businesses and fans are being urged to deck the the town in red and get behind the team for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final on March 22.

Walsall FC chief executive Stefan Gamble said: "This is Walsall's time to show its support for the club, its history and its fans and to be proud that, together, 'We're with Walsall.'

"We want to encourage the people and businesses of Walsall to decorate their homes and places of work in the clubs colours, or come along to join the club and HomeServe in and whole range of activities leading up to the big match."

Walsall Council leader Sean Coughlan added his support to manager Dean Smith and the team

"We're delighted to see the club reach the final of the Johnstone Paint Trophy and wish Dean and the team the very best of luck."

"The campaign is a fantastic opportunity for everyone connected to the borough to show their support for the Saddlers' trip to Wembley and hopefully bring back the cup back to Walsall."

Do you think you are, or do you know someone who is Walsall FC's oldest fan? Or do you know someone making a huge journey to see the Saddlers play at Wembley? Email

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