Ewe beauty ... the baaack of the net for football-loving sheep Alan

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Football fans across the country will be flocking around TV screens tomorrow to cheer on England in their World Cup quarter-final against Sweden tomorrow.

And ewe would not believe who has been practising his ball skills ahead of the big game.

Alison Thorpe, from Lucky Hens Rescue, playing football with Alan

Alison Thorpe, from Lucky Hens Rescue, playing football with Alan

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Alan the sheep loves football and can often be seen honing his dribbling prowess in the manege at Lucky Hens Rescue in Amberswood.

The omens are good with Alan’s football pedigree as Sir Alf RAMsey led England to World Cup glory in 1966 when Kenneth Woolstonholme uttered those immortal words ... they think’s it all over ... it is now.

Alan is following in the hoof-prints of his heroes Shearer, Butt, Ewego Rodallega and Demba Baaaaa as he cheers on the Three Lions and hopes the Swedes can’t hit a barn door.

And if there are any controversial moments in tomorrow’s clash the ref is sure to go BAAAAAA.

Alison Thorpe, who runs the community interest company, said: “My daughter Amber is always playing football so there are always balls around.

“We found that over winter they were always kept in there because the field was so bad and every time Alan went to sleep, he lay down with a football. He played with it as well.

“His favourite ball was an orange one but he has so many. He goes to sleep with different ones.

“It’s really fun to see him playing with it. It’s hilarious.”

Alison rescued Alan last year when he was still a lamb, along with his sister Little Mo, who sadly died a few days later.

They were part of triplets being bred for food, but their mother could not cope with three babies and they were being bottle-fed. He has become popular with visitors to Lucky Hens and a party was held earlier this year to celebrate his birthday.

Alison said: “He is a character. He thinks he’s a dog and plays with the dogs whenever they are in the field.

“The visitors all love Alan. He’s got his own fan club. Everyone comes in and asks to see him. As soon as I say his name he baas.”

Of course football-loving Alan will be supporting his home nation in the match against Sweden.

Alison said: “I think Alan would be rooting for England if he could talk.”

And he might even cheer on Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard and co when they take to the pitch tomorrow.

Alison said: “He likes coming in the house sometimes watching TV, so if the football was on he might want to watch it. I might let him in on Saturday if he’s a good boy.”

Our sheep World Cup line-up

1 - Fabian Baaartez

2 - Martin Bleaters

3 - Robert Hoof

4 - Alan Mutton

5 - Sergio Ramos

6 - Ewego Ehiogu

7 - Nicky Butt

8 - Paulo Lambchop

9 - Ewego Rodellega

10 - Alan Shearer

11 - Demba Baaaaa

Sub

12 Frank Lambpard

13 Baaheem Sterling

14 Mint Dempsey

Manager Sir Alf Ramsey

Commentary by Kenneth Woolstenholme