Polly Wants A Cracker, Instead Gets A Red Card

There are a lot of differences between sports fans here in America and over in England. For instance, when Americans run onto the court or field, they’re usually doing it to celebrate the home team’s victory. When the English do it, they’re generally running onto the pitch with the intentions of murdering either a player or a referee. It’s a subtle difference, sure, but it’s rather important.

parrot soccer ref red card

Of course, security in both countries differs, as well. Where as here in the States they generally perform full cavity searches to make sure you’re not sneaking in a half-pint of Jack Daniels, in England they’re more concerned with keeping you off the field or rioting, so you can bring more stuff into the stadium with you. Could you imagine bringing your parrot with you in a cage while going to see a Pirates game? There’s no way in hell they’d let you do that, but in England it’s cool. It also leads to trouble.


The bird had turned heads before kick-off in Hertfordshire when a woman brought it to the match in a cage.

It behaved itself for the first-half of the quarter-final cup tie between the two non-league teams, watching play swing from end to end.

But 10 minutes into the second-half it began mimicking the referee’s whistle, causing confusion on and off the pitch.

The match was halted and the woman and her parrot were told to leave the pitch-side.

Referee Gary Bailey said that he was cool with the bird being there for a while, but after it started imitating his whistle it had to go, though he does have one regret and that’s “I should have made far more of it and got out my red card to show to the parrot.”

After leaving the game the woman returned home and told her husband about everything that had happened, so he took the bird and tried to return it to the pet shop he bought it at when all hell broke loose. Luckily, we at SbB were able to get our hands on some video of the incident.