England stars ‘battle’ for Dave the cat as World Cup mascot jets in

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It is known that those of the feline persuasion can capture the hearts of millions of Britons – and it appears the England football team are no exception when it comes to Dave the cat. Reports suggest England’s trusty World Cup mascot, who made an impression on the players at their Al Wakrah training base, is set to fly to the UK with as many as three players willing to give him a permanent home.

‘Dave’ gained national attention when on their first day in Qatar, England duo John Stones and Kyle Walker snapped a photo of the feline while they sat down for breakfast in the Middle Eastern sunshine. And it appears the duo, along with midfielder Kalvin Phillips, are making a beeline for the feline, according to the Daily Star.

Walker pledged to bring home the stray cat after he started repeatedly turned up for dinner at the team hotel in Qatar and, with some of the richest footballers at his mercy, he was never likely to go hungry for long.

Walker made his claim early on after posting an Instagram snap of himself with the animal, saying he “loves” the cat despite some dissenting voices in the England camp. And it appears he is the favourite to win the race for his paw prints after taking a shine to the two-year-old cat.

However, he conceded his close friend Stones was the one to christen him with his now-famous name and the centre-back is known to have fed him too: “John named him Dave,” Walker later explained. “Dave is just welcomed to the table. Some people really don’t like the cat but I love him. I love him.”

The battle has generated some friendly banter amongst the players, with Walker posting a picture of himself yelling at Stones on the pitch with the caption: “Having to tell @johnstonesofficial he can’t take Dave the cat home with him.”

Their fellow City team-mate Kalvin Phillips, 27, attempted to blow the race wide open by declaring the puss the Three Lions’ official mascot but it may be that Dave is given a straight choice between Walker and Stones.

It’s unknown quite where Dave the tabby emerged from but he was seen to have been a sign of good luck after joining the group and he was welcomed with open arms. The national team kitman even handed him his own England shirt, while those looking after him ensured he has been microchipped and vaccinated.

Dave has been placed into temporary foster face at the Qatar Animal Welfare Society before his big move to the UK. However, he will be forced to wait until April to be reunited with his England pals with the move pencilled in for April, according to Janet Berry, who is reportedly caring for Dave at the facility.

“Precisely where he’ll end up is still undecided. So many of the players want him.”

City’s players will no doubt be focusing on their Premier League title battle by such a time and under the guise of Pep Guardiola. But Walker, Stones and Phillips may just be prepared to fight as competitively on the pitch as they do for the affection of the beloved feline.

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