England mascot Dave the cat supporting Lionesses from his new home

By Sports Desk July 21, 2023

England’s unlikely World Cup mascot will be watching the Lionesses from his forever home as Dave the cat settles into his new surroundings.

While football might not have come home from Qatar, stray cat Dave did after the friendly feline became a firm favourite of the squad as he roamed freely around England’s Al Wakrah training base.

Manchester City duo John Stones and Kyle Walker were pictured with Dave on most evenings and the latter said the team would adopt the cat if Gareth Southgate’s men won the World Cup.

Despite their quarter-final exit at the hands of France, Dave was still given the chance to travel to the UK and was eventually rehomed by the Football Association’s media operations manager Anna Bush and her family.

“There was a discussion around wanting Dave to end up with a family with young children, so I put my hand up and volunteered and my children are absolutely delighted,” she told the PA news agency.

“They’ve never had a pet before and what a first pet to have! They (the players) are aware and delighted. He’s got a new home and a family to look after him.”

He left Al Wakrah in December, just two hours after the squad had departed for home, and headed to a veterinary clinic where he had blood tests and vaccinations.

After being in quarantine for months he was welcomed by his new family, instantly taking to his  surroundings and showing he picked up a keen eye for football after his stint as England’s top cat.

While Dave lived the life of a stray during the men’s World Cup, he can watch the women attempt to follow up their Euros success from last summer in the comfort of his new home.

The Bush family even have a way of making sure Dave – who now has his own Instagram page – is part of any success Down Under as he offers up his match predictions, with a little incentive to back Sarina Wiegman and her team.

“He has settled in so well,” added Bush.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by DaveTheCat (@englanddavecat)

 

“He loves the surrounding area and loves it in the sun – he is finding his feet and absolutely loves watching my two boys play football in the garden.

“One of them actually coloured in both of the crests ahead of the Champions League and wanted Manchester City to win so he put a few treats down (on the City crest) and so Dave predicted that Man City were going to win the Champions League final and they did!

“Now we have to start doing that for the Women’s World Cup I suppose – bring on England on Saturday.”

Related items

  • Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move

    Former Milan and Italy great Gennaro Gattuso has completed a surprise move to Hadjuk Split, taking over as head coach in Croatia.

    Gattuso, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has signed a two-year deal with the Croatian giants.

    The 46-year-old will be officially welcomed at Poljud next week after Split announced his appointment on Wednesday.

    Gattuso's coaching career began as player-coach of his final club, Sion of the Swiss Super League, and he also had short spells in charge of Palermo and OFI Crete.

    The former midfielder then led Pisa to Serie B promotion before taking charge of old club Milan and subsequently joining Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia in 2020.

    Short tenures followed with Fiorentina, Valencia and Marseille before his sacking from the Ligue 1 side in February.

  • Root backs Buttler as England captain despite T20 World Cup struggles Root backs Buttler as England captain despite T20 World Cup struggles

    Joe Root has no doubts over Jos Buttler's England captaincy, backing the white-ball skipper to continue despite T20 World Cup struggles.

    Matthew Mott's side are on the brink of an early elimination this month, with their 20-over title defence seemingly crumbling without escaping the group stage.

    England struggled before rain washed out their opener with Scotland, who are the favourites to progress after Australia overcame Buttler's side on Saturday.

    The defending champions must beat Oman and Namibia, while needing Australia to overcome Scotland by a less-than-narrow margin to have any hopes of going through on net run-rate.

    That has brought questions over Buttler's tenure as England captain, though Root placed his backing in the 33-year-old, a former international team-mate and good friend of his.

    "Jos is one of my good friends," the England Test star said. "I think he's a brilliant captain, so I don't think there's any question.

    "I think they'll be absolutely fine, they've got a wonderful squad of players. They know exactly what they need to do.

    "When it's all laid out and they've got their backs to the wall, which they have in this situation now, is when they play their best cricket.

    "It could really bring the best out of them, so I've got no worries whatsoever.

    "If they go out and do what they all know that they're capable of doing, we'll be finding ourselves in the Super 8s and the back-end of the tournament where it really matters to play our best stuff."

    England face Oman on Thursday before meeting Namibia on Saturday, when Scotland go against Australia later in the day, boasting the advantage of knowing what result is required to progress.

    That is on the minds of Australian players, too, with bowler Josh Hazlewood weighing up the options of helping send England out of the competition.

    England coach Mott hopes the Australia quick's comments were in jest, though matters could be out of his side's hands come the weekend in the United States and West Indies.

  • Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss

    England have started to plan for life after Gareth Southgate but Football Association executive Mark Bullingham insists no approach has been made for the manager, nor has his future been decided.

    The Three Lions boss raised questions over his future after German media outlet BILD published an interview this week from Southgate, who suggested Euro 2024 this month is his last chance with England.

    Manchester United were reportedly interested in the 53-year-old as well before reaffirming their commitment to under-fire manager Erik ten Hag.

    As the European Championship awaits in Germany, Bullingham sought to ease any fears over the future of Southgate, though reiterated the FA has already thought through a succession plan.

    "Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about that after the tournament," Bullingham said.

    "And I don't want to provide any distraction for him and the team, and I want to respect the fact that he wants to talk about the future after the tournament.

     "I've seen some things about, 'Have we got a plan, haven't we?' Any organisation has a succession plan in place for their top employees, and we are no different to that.

    "A succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for the short-term cover, through to a process you follow, through to [drawing up] a candidate pool. We have that for all our top employees."

    Bullingham also assured that Southgate's future will not be dictated by success at Euro 2024, with the manager's contract set to expire in December.

    "[The team] could go further but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards and hit the woodwork three times," the FA chief added.

    "I think setting an arbitrary figure isn't the right way to go. I think we step back and look at everything after the tournament."

    In a staunch defence of Southgate, Bullingham lauded the job the former England international has done, guiding the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

    "I would say I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job," Bullingham said.

    "I think he has transformed the fortunes of our team, and that's not just off the pitch, and you can see the culture, but also the performances on the pitch.

    "Since 1966, he has won about half of our knockout games, which is a measure we really use, so we value him massively."

    Should Southgate leave, Bullingham remains open to bringing in another homegrown talent to manage England.

    "We have two senior coaches," he continued. "One of them is English, one of them [England women's boss Sarina Wiegman] is not.

    "Any federation in the world would always want to have a pool of top homegrown talent playing and managing at any time."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.