It wasn’t the usual journey into work for Brighton & Hove Albion defender Dan Burn this morning, as the 27-year-old made an unexpected pick-up on his way to pre-season training.
Burn was heading towards the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre when he noticed a dog running along the A27 near Hangleton, and the six-foot-seven-inch defender was quick to respond to the situation.
He said, “I was just driving along the road and the cars broke in front of me. I broke and saw a dog running along the road, so I got out because I was worried it would get run over.
“It panicked a little because I was a stranger pulling it by the collar, but it was absolutely fine once in the car. I kept checking my rearview mirror and it was sitting in the back smiling away.
“I got back to the training ground and tried to ring the number on the collar, but they didn’t pick up, so I passed the number on to my wife and our player liaison officer.
“They ended up getting in touch with the owner, and my wife came to collect and return it to the dog walker, which I was a bit gutted about because I wanted to keep it!”
Bear had been out for his regular walk in Falmer, close to the Amex Stadium of all places, but something caught his attention, which led to his dangerous journey along one of Sussex’s busiest roads.
But due to Burn’s quick thinking, Bear was safely returned to his owner after winning over the security staff at Albion’s training base, and the central defender was delighted to contribute towards a happy conclusion.
“I’ve got a dog myself, so I thought I’d want somebody else to do the same for me. It was very big and heavy — I didn’t realise its name was Bear!
“Now that I think about it, it was probably pretty stupid getting out in the middle of the road and doing it, but I just didn't want it to get hurt.
“I’m just glad we got it back to its owner because the situation could have been a lot worse.”