A VISITING referee to Hospital GAA field would expect to see the odd foul on the pitch but not fowl off it!
The French rugby team famously has its rooster and now Hospital-Herbertstown GAA Club has its own cockerel.
“Les Bleus” let their rooster run around before games and the cockerel in Hospital does the same.
The red and black coloured bird has made his home in the club’s GAA field for the past month.
Paudie Reale, PRO of Hospital-Herbertstown GAA Club, said their feathered friend has become their new team mascot.
“Members of our intermediate hurling team christened him Rocky after the famous clip in the movie of him preparing for the biggest of his life by running after a chicken,” said Paudie.
Indeed, Rocky is so vocal on the sidelines that he may be banished for intimidating the opposition.
“He appears out of the hedge for every training session and match and puts off many a free taker as he perches himself on the scoreboard. He is our version of the French rooster!” said Paudie, a former All-Ireland winning u21 Limerick hurler.
Rocky, as his name suggests, isn’t afraid of getting stuck in.
“He’s not too shy. He likes to investigate sliothars around the field. We tried to find him for the recent parade in the town to celebrate the launch of the Hospital 800 year celebrations but he was nowhere to be found. We thought he could march with the GAA club,” said Paudie.
Hospital-Herbertstown GAA Club committee member and former Limerick hurler, Jimmy Carroll said there is great talk about Rocky.
“We have a little training pitch on the side and apparently he is parked there the whole time. Every so often he goes onto the main pitch,” said Jimmy, who is partly responsible for their novel supporter.
Jimmy and his brother Donie rotovated that piece of ground two months ago as it had grown wild. Club legend, Harry Greensmyth, who was recently thrown a surprise party by his former players, said: “The beautiful bird is seen regularly at the back of the top goal posts and is much admired.”