Scunthorpe United have asked fans of the club not to dress as squirrels this weekend when they take on Torquay in the League Two encounter at Glanford Park, where former manager Alan Knill will return for the first time since he was sacked in October last year.
During his time at the helm of the club, Knill suffered a bizarre cycling accident when he collided with a squirrel that sent him flying off his bicycle. While Knill escaped the collision with cuts and bruises, the squirrel was not so lucky, and was sadly declared dead at the scene.
Having got caught up in the spokes of Knill’s bike, the 49-year-old was launched over the handlebars with one witness fearing that he had broken his collarbone and called an ambulance as a result.
Looking back on the incident, Knill reflected on the seriousness of the collision that could have cost him his life as well as the squirrel's.
“It was quite serious at the time, I was flying through the air,” Knill said when speaking to the Scunthorpe Telegraph. “I came off my bike at 20-whatever miles an hour, an ambulance was called and everything – I could have died.
“I'm worrying every night about football, about this, about that, I could have been dead. The perspective for me was I might not have been having this conversation. [Defeats] happen but it puts a perspective on everything.”
However, with Knill set to return to his former employers, United have issued a plea for fans not to wear fancy dress squirrel costumes to the game on Saturday.
One fan sent a tweet to the club asking: “Will anyone wearing any 'squirrel attire' be banned from entering the ground on Saturday?”
Responding through their official club Twitter account, they said: “No you won't be banned. However, the club would prefer it if you didn't dress up in 'squirrel attire'.”
Current caretaker manager Russ Wilcox looks favourite to take the permanent position following the dismissal of Brian Laws last week. Club chairman Peter Swann announced that both Wilcox and youth coach Tony Daws will remain in charge of the first team going into January.
With The Iron currently in the play-off positions in sixth, fans won’t be going nuts just yet as they continue their attempt at returning to League One at the first time of asking.
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