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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 October, 2004, 01:10 GMT 02:10 UK
Canine pitch invader back at home
Brock, the Jack Russell terrier, on the pitch at Croke Park, Dublin
Brock made a big impression at Croke Park
The Burn family in Dublin had begun to fear they might never again see their beloved Jack Russell terrier, Brock.

When Martin Burn settled down to watch the second Test of the International Rules series on Sunday on TV, he could barely believe what he saw.

There was much hilarity among the 60,000 crowd at the game, as a small dog got onto the pitch and chased the ball.

He recognised the pitch invader as the family pet, and the dog was eventually returned home.

Taken in

The match, held at Croke Park in Dublin, is a keenly anticipated competition between Ireland's Gaelic football team and a visiting Australian Rules football side, played under rules somewhere between the two sports.

Mr Burn called his family to watch as the dog interrupted play, haring around the pitch for five minutes.

Eventually, stewards managed to remove the dog from the pitch.

Somehow though, he slipped away again, only to be taken in by children living near the stadium.

After appeals for help in finding him were made in Irish newspapers and on the radio, Brock was finally returned home.

"Aye, he's unbelievable, isn't he?" said a delighted Mr Burn.

"He's only a baby, he's only a pup when you think about it as well.

Brock, the Jack Russell terrier, on the pitch at Croke Park, Dublin
His family said he was exhausted by his adventure
"But the poor dog now, he's at home now and he's not able to wag. He looks like he was in the marathon yesterday.

"Just as well there's not another match this Sunday, I don't think he'd pass the fitness test!"

It is not clear is how Brock made the eight mile journey from his home to the hallowed turf of Croke Park.

He had been let out for a visit to the garden but then disappeared. The family searched the area without success.

It does appear, however, that after a four-day adventure and a promising debut, Brock's sporting career is now on hold.


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