Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The parrot called Me-Tu sent off at football game for imitating ref's whistle and calling the players 'pretty boy'

A football referee was forced to send off a parrot during a match - after the bird began imitating his whistle.

Nine-year-old Me-Tu was taken to the match in his cage by eccentric owner Irene Kerrigan, 66, because he enjoys watching the players run around.

But the game descended into farce when the rare Senegalese parrot began copying the referee's whistle, causing confusion on the pitch.

He also started shouting 'pretty boy' as some of the players showed off their silky skills.

Referee Gary Bailey, 45, had no choice but to stop the game and order Irene and Me-Tu to leave the touchline.

Gary said the game between Hertford Heath and Hatfield Town in the Hertfordshire Senior Centenary Trophy was the most bizarre he has ever overseen.

'I've sent a few people off in my time but I 've never sent a parrot off before,' he said.

'It was a tough game and the lads were kicking lumps out of each other on the pitch.

'About 10 minutes into the second half one of the lads was running with the ball and then all of a sudden he'd heard a whistle and then stopped.

'The whistle wasn't even anywhere near my lips!' After a brief stoppage Gary let the amateur game continue but as the second half went on the parrot continued to make the noises and play was interrupted.

So he approached Irene, who lives near the ground at Hertford Heath, and asked them to leave the touchline and retreat into the stands.

Gary, of Hodderston, Hertfordshire, added: 'I was forced to go over to this woman who I thought was making the noises and ask her to stop.

'When I confronted her she said "It's not me, it's my parrot". I got a hell of a shock.

'The woman told me she was just taking it for a walk and giving it some air. I didn't have a choice I had to sent the bird off because it was ruining the game.'

But Irene has vowed to return to the stadium. She said: 'He loves his football and I'll take him back down there again on Saturday.'

The 150-strong crowd looed on as the pair were forced to beat a hasty retreat.

Hatfield Town Manager, Trevor Lloyd, 36 watched his team wing it into the semi finals winning the cup tie 5-2.

Trevor said: 'It's a shame the parrot didn't manage to hang on into extra time because we scored three goals.'

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