Chaddy the Owl was punched in the face by a fellow Oldham Athletic supporter before the club’s clash with Preston North End.
The 7ft bird was posing with a young fan for a picture in the concourse of the away end at Preston’s Deepdale stadium before kick off on Tuesday night when, without warning, a thug walked over and hit him before calmly walking to the bar.
Oldham club bosses have launched an investigation and have asked Preston for CCTV footage in a bid to trace the offender.
But the man behind the mask, 37-year-old Wayne Hurst, does not want to see the culprit hauled before the beak.
He said: "I don’t even want him banned because we need as many fans as we can get. I just want an explanation and an apology."