I play in UK's smallest footie league – I filled in as Beckham's body double and we lost a game because of runaway cows | The Sun

PLAYING in the UK's smallest football league brings it's own place in history, but being David Beckham's body double brings a whole new level of fame.

The Isles of Scilly Football League sees the Woolpack Wanderers do battle against the Garrison Gunners 17 times every season.

The fame of the island's league soon saw a host of big name stars arrive on the island in 2007, including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Patrick Vieira, Anderson Daniele De Rossi and Michael Ballack.

The group had arrived on the island for a training session with young footballer before kicking back to relax on the beach with some fish and chips.

But as the press arrived Beckham and Co soon had to leave, which led to league chairman Anthony Gibbons' unique claim to fame.

In an interview with the BBC, Gibbons said "A guy from St Martin's phoned the press to say Beckham was here, so a load of helicopters came over and he had to go.


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"They still needed one last shot over the bay so I filled in for Beckham."

Will Lethbridge, who grew up on the island and is a veteran player in the league, added: "Someone did send a message to the production company to see if they wanted to do a revisit recently, but I don't think there's been a response."

"We do get odd things come up and usually we'll find some time to do it because it's all good fun and it's good for Scilly because the islands rely on tourism and wanting people to come here and visit us, so any exposure helps with that."

The uniqueness of the league can hardly be matched, and with the small population of the island, sometimes emergencies take precedence.

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Indeed, one game was even lost because of COWS.

Gibbons explained: "There's a guy called Dave Mumford – or Chuffer – who's a farmer and a few years ago his phone started going at half time and they said 'oi, your cows have escaped', so he had to run off to find them.

"We were 2-0 up at that point and had to go down to 10 men, so we ended up losing 3-2. In the end, it turned out they weren't even his cows."

The league itself has retained the same format since 1920, but with two annual cup competitions there are plenty chances for the respective teams to lift some silverware.

The two teams are never the same either, with players literally being picked with the toss of a coin.

But the island even plays host to a semi-regular match against Penzance amateur side Dynamo Choughs for the Lyonesse Trophy.

The trophy in question caught the attention of Fifa, who wanted to display it in it's official museum in Zurich, due to it being dubbed as the world's smallest cup.

Gibbons added: "We started playing Dynamo Choughs on our football tours in the early 2000s and one of their players is a metal worker, so he decided to make the smallest trophy he could.

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"When Fifa came over and said it'd be great in their museum, he made a replica and they've got it at the moment.

"Even though it's only about one centimetre tall, people have still tried to put beer in there when they've won it, but it's not a big drink."

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