Oh deer! Moment two huge stags stage a pitch invasion at an under-10s football match
- Two antlered red stags strode across the pitch at a children’s match in London
- The formidable duo leapt over a fence at Bushy Park Sports Club in Teddington
- They stayed for over a minute as stunned onlookers gazed and took photos
This is the moment two stags brought an under-10s football match to an abrupt halt.
Parents watching the match recorded the pitch invasion at Bushy Park Sports Club in Teddington, southwest London, on October 9.
The stunned children were stopped in their tracks as the animals strutted towards them, with one animal leaping over a fence to get onto the pitch.
It occurred during the peak of rutting season, as adult stags compete for mating rights with available females – often locking antlers in an attempt to assert their dominance.
This stag was caught on camera leaping over a fence at Bushy Park Sports Club in Teddington
Children stood in awe as a fully-antlered stag began calling out
One of the deer called out on the pitch as onlookers marvelled at their guest
The majestic animals wandered the pitch at leisure despite having an audience
Luckily, the unexpected visitors quietly wandered off into the trees after a few minutes and the children were able to continue playing.
Nicki Hudson, 46, brought her son for an away game as his team Epsom and Ewell Colts squared off against the Teddington Dragons.
She said: ‘There were two deer on the pitch. I was chatting to some other parents on the side of the pitch and one of them called to me to show me the first deer which I started to film.
‘I could also see the second deer which to begin with was behind a wooden fence and I didn’t think it would jump it.
‘Then very soon after, over it jumped and was walking straight across the pitch as the boys were mid match.
‘Us parents all stood still but the quick thinking referee called the players over to all stand together to the left of the deer.
‘The deer was clearly watching us all, so much so, one of the mothers turned away from the deer to avoid eye contact! Soon after, the deer trotted off and left the pitch.’
A red deer stag interrupts a youth football match at Bushy Park Sports Club, London, last Saturday
The match stopped completely as onlookers gazed at the spectacle
The two stags strode at ease, despite commanding the attention of their audience
Bushy Park is an enclosed royal park known for its rich wildlife, which attracts keen animal photographers.
The park is free to enter and with its own football pitches, it is a favourite venue for sports teams.
Photographer Gedrius Stakaukas said: ‘I could see this stag walking around before he jumped onto the pitch. I heard the children starting to scream and some ran away.
This deer strode confidently across the pitch as onlookers watched
Children were delighted with their visitors but kept a safe distance
The match quietly resumed once all of the action was over
‘Many of the children playing and the people watching were amazed – stunned to see such an unusual sight.’
Mr Stakaukas said he thought one of the deer stayed for as long as ten minutes as people watched and captured the scene on camera.
He added: ‘I can’t tell for sure because I was too busy taking pictures!’