Players and fans alike were left feeling as sick as a parrot during a Hertfordshire Senior Centenary Trophy tie, which descended into farce thanks to the attendance of an exotic bird. Referee, Gary Bailey was forced to make the extraordinary decision to send parrot 'Me-Tu' - who often watches matches from the confines of his cage - from the touchline during a tense cup tie between Hatfield Town and Hertford Heath, after the feathered friend persistently imitated the man in the middle's whistle. The Senegalese bird's actions continually forced players from both sides to stop play, resulting in the parrot's owner, 66-year-old Irene Kerrigan, being asked to take the bird away. "I’ve never known anything like it in my career," Bailey told Metro. "It was a big game and there were quiet a lot of people there. "Every time I blew my whistle, the bird made the same sound. The players all stopped so I had to ask to move the parrot to the stands. I’ve sent a few people off in my time but never a parrot." "I suppose if you can take a dog to the ground, you can take your pet parrot," added Hatfield Town Chairman Ted Collie. "If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t believe it." Nevertheless, owner Kerrigan won't hesistate in taking the bird to future games, but may be tempted to stay in the stands, steering clear of the touchline and the referee's wrath. "Me-Tu loves his football and I’ll take him there again," Kerrigan told The Sun.
22 January 2009
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