Heero’s welcome again after football club is told to give mascot his job back

Heero (aka Henrik Pasveer) in happier times. Photo: ANP/Ronald Bonestroo

Eredivisie club Heerenveen has been ordered to reinstate its mascot, who was suspended during the pandemic in a dispute with the board.

Hendrik Pasveer, who spent 22 years as Heero, a curly blonde giant in a Heerenveen strip and matching horned helmet, took the club to court after being relieved of his duties at the start of this year.

The club claimed Pasveer, who was also employed as an in-house painter and decorator, had threatened staff and created an ‘untenable situation’ in the workplace, but a district court found in his favour and ordered the club to let him return to work.

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His lawyer said he had fallen out with the club during the coronavirus pandemic over what he saw as its laissez-faire approach to the lockdown rules.

Pasveer alerted officials to the fact that some of his colleagues were failing to keep to the restrictions and people were entering the club’s premises without valid QR codes, but in a recorded message with the chairman he was told to ‘shut your mouth and get painting’.

‘A remark that by any measure is out of order,’ lawyer Stephan de Vries told the court in Heerenveen.

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