An arresting tale


We learnt last month about the spot of bother goalkeeper Dean Delaney (below left) had on his way back to England after playing for the Irish under-21s in Holland - but only last week did we hear the rather extraordinary conclusion to the tale. Delaney had to fly back early from Amsterdam to Manchester because his club, Port Vale needed him on the bench for their game against Reading that day so he was in a bit of rush when leaving the airport . . . and picked up the wrong bag. It was only when he arrived at the ground and opened the bag to get out his boots he discovered the problem: there were none.

Meanwhile. The rightful owner of the bag opened his luggage to discover . . . a pair of football boots and a phone number for Irish under-21 manager Don Givens - he gave him a ring, explained the mishap and all concerned arranged to meet at the airport next day. What we've since learnt is that a bemused Delaney heard strange squeaking sounds coming from the bag in question and when he opened it, and looked under a layer of clothing on top, discovered a collection of caged . . . rodents. It gets better. When our goalkeeper arrived at the airport next day the rightful owner of the bag was in handcuffs, having been arrested and charged with illegally importing animals to the UK. Honest to God, you couldn't make it up.