Fans of the Northampton Clown have reacted angrily to the apparent ‘outing’ of his identity.
Several national newspapers and other online news sites have identified University of Northampton student Alex Powell as the man behind the mask.
With his identity now seemingly uncovered, it is unclear whether the Northampton Clown will carry on making appearances in the town.
The Chron learnt the identity of the Northampton Clown before running an exclusive interview with him - however, agreed not to reveal it to maintain the mystery of the character.
Many fans have criticised the national press for the stories about Mr Powell, saying it has put his safety at risk and ruined the mystery of the clown’s appearances.
A man with a knife is believed to have threatened to stab the Northampton Clown after he appeared at Sixfields.
Louise Rose, commenting on The Mirror story, said: “Hope you’re happy with yourselves, why can’t you just leave things alone.. In a world full of dome and gloom this was a little light hearted fun, but oh no you journalist just have to spoilt it.. Well done!”
Luke Wood wrote: “Way to go you bunch of killjoys, a bit of harmless and LEGAL fun again ruined by the media. What’s next, a kids only issue of the paper spilling the truth about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy?”
Matthew Buckley wrote: “It’s a shame.. now you’ve identified him the people who want to kill him are going to be able to find him a lot easier now. Bit silly, no?”
A comment on the Mail Online story about the unmasking read: “Miserable newspaper unmasking him. Why spoil something funny?”
However, on the Spot Northampton’s Clown Facebook page the clown has told his 185,000 followers his identity is “safe”.
The clown has also told people “not to believe everything they read in the papers”, leading to the suggestion Alex Powell may not be the Northampton Clown after all.