Video and picture gallery: Alpaca the net! Fan’s surreal experience on his first visit to Wells Town Football Club
08:58 04 February 2014
The form of the likes of Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero appears to have inspired Wells Town Football Club to sign seven South Americans in the January transfer window.
In what must be the most bizarre picture from East Anglia’s weekend sporting calendar, seven alpacas appear like substitutes warming up next to Wells Town Football Club’s Beach Road pitch.
Their thick coats protected them from the chilly sea breeze during Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Beccles Caxton in the Anglia Combination Division Two.
While the sight of alpacas in Wells is not uncommon - Pancho, Gonzalo, Paco, Eduardo, Yaco, Diego and Alfonso are all from the town’s popular tourist attraction Alpaca Trekking - their appearance gave football fan David Whitehouse, who took this picture, one of the most surreal experiences of his life.
Mr Whitehouse, 25, a postman from Penkridge, Staffordshire, was visiting Wells Town’s ground for the first time.
He said: “I often go to watch King’s Lynn as my girlfriend’s father is a photographer there but their match was off so I went to watch Wells instead - the last thing I expected to see was seven alpacas walking along the side of the pitch. “It’s not the sort of thing you’d see at the Brittania Stadium or any of the football grounds where I’m from.
“I just had no idea what was going on.
“It was only later that I learned that there is an alpaca tourism business in Wells.”
He added: “It was a great game and a very interesting day, so I think I’ll probably come and watch Wells again.”
Mr Whitehouse posted his picture on Twitter and it has been seen by people all over the country.
Alpaca Trekking is run by Ian Curtis, 58, who lives in Stiffkey.
He started the business five years ago with two alpacas which he bought from a breeder in Pentney, near King’s Lynn.
He now has 13.
They can be seen in a field off Polka Road, Wells and are regularly taken out for treks on the coastal path to Stiffkey by visitors from across the UK and overseas.
Mr Curtis said: “It was too muddy to do the usual route on Saturday so I took them up the Beach Road walk.
“I had no idea they had attracted so much attention. It’s great for the business.”
Wells Town Football Club chairman Steve Finch said: “Since that photo was put on Twitter it has gone everywhere.
“It has got a lot of people taking about Wells Town and it’s really put the club on the map.
“A lot of the other local matches were off on Saturday but we worked hard to get the pitch in decent condition and it was a great day for us.
“It was a cracking game with seven goals and a sending off and with a crowd of around 150 people, plus seven alpacas, it was the biggest turnout we’ve had for a long time.”
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