JUST for a moment, some footie fans thought McAteer had met his maker but as the day unfolded the identity of the victim was confirmed not as Trigger, but Triggs.
It marked the passing of a dog more trusted by his master than his former Manchester United teammates; the affable, intelligent companion of a man who prized his beloved and loyal pooch.
It was Triggs who stood by Roy when he returned from Saipan, after his “stick it up your bollix” strop ended his 2002 World Cup campaign.
Far from sitting indoors, tail between his legs, Roy took to the roads, faithful Triggs in tow, proving the point that there are times when a dog is indisputably man’s best friend.
Triggs was the alpha to his omega, the yang to his yin, the good natured blonde in a relationship dominated by dark and brooding forces.
Roy turned to Triggs when he failed to connect with Alan Shearer’s jaw and was sent off in 2001. He thought of quitting, but instead “walked Triggs a long way”.
There are those who would say Triggs was better than any psycho- therapist. And there are those who would say no couch could ever cure Keano and pounding the footpaths was less detrimental to everyone’s mental health.
There are even those who would claim that Triggs hid the lead when- ever Roy had a bad day.
In 2008, Triggs had to make way for another canine friend. “There’s me, Triggs and I’ve got a new German shepherd,” Roy told the press.
Some may regard his master as barking mad, but not Triggs. A source quoted yesterday said: “Roy has lost his best friend. Triggs has been a calming influence on him over the years. This news will have the Ipswich players panicking.”
There is little by way of comfort to be said when a man loses his best friend. His obit should reflect that he did a good job in raising funds and awareness for Guide Dogs for the Blind. He died of cancer, aged nine.
RIP Triggs. PS All Dogs go to Heaven.
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