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Dirty Tackle

Gillingham owner Paul Scally hunting for kidnapped tortoise

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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Blake the tortoise and his owner Paul Scally (7daysindubai.com/Getty)

Blake the tortoise and his owner Paul Scally (7daysindubai.com/Getty)

Few of us know how it feels to be a millionaire expat football club owner with a missing tortoise, but that is the harrowing predicament Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally finds himself in right now.

Scally's family live in the UAE — if you owned a club in the Medway region of Kent you would move abroad too — along with two giant tortoises, named Amy Winehouse and Blake.

Much like his real-life namesake, Blake left his partner and escaped from the family home, ending up at a German-Saudi hospital where security staff picked him up and called a vet for help.

However, before the vet arrived, a mystery kidnapper arrived and took the tortoise away as a present for his own son. Rather than attempt to stop the man, the security staff took the photo above left of Blake being snatched and loaded onto a truck.

UAE news outlet 7 Days in Dubai reports:

Scally, who owns English League Two team Gillingham FC said his three daughters are devastated by Blake's disappearance, while Amy is so depressed she is barely moving.

"Blake and Amy had been mating all the time, Amy has laid so many eggs. She is devastated and is in the house and doesn't want to come out. She is really lost without him," he said.

In addition to explaining his pet's coital habits to reporters, Scally has now turned tortoise detective, tracking down the owner of the truck and involving Dubai police. The shell-dweller remains missing though, and 7 Days in Dubai have asked that anyone who recognises Blake (!) to contact them with information.

Coming soon on DT's nothing-to-do-with-football-pet-theft series: The Curious Case of Roman Abramovich's Purloined Squirrel Monkey

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