The news that a dog has been togging out for the successful Ardboe minor team has encouraged a flood of other animals to come forward and admit they have been playing football and hurling for years across the county. Beragh, Derrytresk, Urney and Stewartstown are only some of the clubs named today as having used animals in league games down the years and one in a crucial championship match.
A Bilberry goat, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed he played three league games for Derrytresk in 2011 as the management rested players for important championship games:
“Yes that is true. Against Owen Roes I played corner forward, corner back against Dregish and in the final game I togged out in midfield against Newtownstewart, scoring 0-2. To be honest I felt a bit used. I was under strict instructions not to talk to the opposition or to the press afterwards. They also warned me not to do goaty things like eating the grass or excreting all over the place willy-nilly. I felt like a silly billy.”
At the same time a wolf from Beragh revealed he played an entire season in goals five years ago.
“Yes, I’m glad the Derrytresk goat opened the floodgates. I was goalkeeper for the Beragh Red Knights for 16 league games in 2008 and was also silenced by our tyrannical management team. That was bad enough but the slagging I got in the showers was unbearable. They goaded me so much calling me hairy bollocks and all that I snapped after a game in Brocagh and bit the nose clean off our captain. They left me alone after that but I was never one of the lads.”
Two unrelated donkeys, Sam from Urney and Donal from Stewartstown held a press conference at the donkey sanctuary in Tattyreagh. Donal told the waiting journalists:
“This is only the start. You’ll find a lot more animals coming forward in the coming days. We contacted the GPA but they weren’t interested. We’ve now created the GAA (Gaelic Animal Association) and will look for fair play. I played a championship hurling game for Stewartstown against Dungannon a couple of years ago and afterwards I was used as transport for the chairman and his wife who live in Lissan. It’s just not right.”
The county board is investigating the accusations as well as the rumour that an entire battery of hens lined out for Moortown in a 2007 end-of-season fixture against Aghaloo, losing by a point. The match had attracted mysterious bets from Thailand.