Elusive alpaca pitch invader disrupts Carlton Athletic versus Ilkley Town

Elusive alpaca pitch invader disrupts Carlton Athletic versus Ilkley Town

The alpaca, called Oscar, disrupted play for 20 minutes. Picture: Claire Armstrong/Ilkley Town

Play had to be stopped for 20 minutes during a football match in North Yorkshire in the UK after an alpaca ran onto the pitch.

Footage of the elusive Oscar has gone viral after he galloped into the game between Carlton Athletic and Ilkley Town on Saturday from a nearby farm.

The alpaca appeared five minutes before half-time and evaded attempts to usher it off the pitch for so long players were left feeling cold by the time play restarted.

“I’ve been watching football and playing football 40 years and never seen anything like this,” Ilkley club chairman Richard Giles told the PA news agency.

Despite the delay, Ilkley, who play in the seventh tier of English football, went on to win the game 2-0 with goals from Tom Fleming and Joe Chilaka.

Ilkley hope to achieve promotion to semi-professional status this season after narrowly missing out on a step up last year.

With Oscar proving a lucky charm for the club, the chairman said they are now considering recruiting an alpaca as a mascot to spur the team on.

“There’s a farm closer to where we are that we plan to get in touch with,” added Mr Giles.

However, according to Carlton fan Gavin Shoesmith, the allegiances of Oscar himself lie elsewhere.

“Oscar the alpaca is an avid Carlton fan and often is spotted engrossed in the games on a Saturday,” the 46-year-old, who was at the game, told PA.

“This week he’d had enough after a shocking first half by the referee and decided he was having none of it and vaulted the fence.”

The video of Oscar was filmed by Claire Armstrong, Ilkley’s Covid officer and wife to the first-team coach, on her phone.

“Claire was on a call with someone and said ‘I’m so sorry, I’ve got to put the phone down, there’s an alpaca on the pitch,'” added Mr Giles.

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