The history of Geelong Football Club’s mascot is being celebrated as never before at the Gartland Heritage Centre.
A special exhibition following the journey of the Cats' mascot from its roots in a Sam Wells cartoon in The Herald, to Half-Cat and Clawdia as we know them today.
Geelong Cats Honouring the Past coordinator Caroline Stok said the Honouring the Past Committee was eager to celebrate the unique history of a mascot that was nearly 100 years old.
“We wanted to capture the evolution of our Cats mascot,” she said.
“It wasn’t with us from day dot, it was arrived at in the 20s. It became organically the mascot for the club.
“It’s not that the club picked it, it came through naturally.
“We’re also highlighting the people who have worn the mascot outfit – two Half-Cats and one who was the original, before the Half-Cat mascot.”
Among those is Steve Sobey, who wore the Half-Cat suit for an incredible 24 years, before hanging up the boots after last season.
Prior to Mr Sobey, Ian McKenzie wore a Half-Cat suit for 15 years, while a young supporter by the name of Kevin Collins was the first to don a Cats mascot outfit for the club, running out onto the MCG with the senior team on the day of the first Semi-Final in 1956.
The suit itself has evolved over the years, from young Kevin Collins' suit, made by women who were the future wives of players at the time, to the different suits worn by Mr McKenzie and Mr Sobey.
The Half-Cat suit of today is different again, to reflect the same stylings as the Clawdia suit.
The Cats' Mascot Exhibition will be open to the public from 3.30pm until 5pm each Monday at the Gartland Heritage Centre.
The centre is located in the Deakin Cats Community Centre, on the ground floor of the Players Stand, with access via Gate 8.
For more information about the Gartland Heritage Centre, CLICK HERE.