Robbie Fowler’s move to the Australian A-League has been plunged into doubt after the country’s authorities barred the entry of his extensive collection of false snakes.
The former Liverpool goal ace is expected to play a major role for North Queensland Fury in the upcoming season, but now that his mock snakes won’t be joining him, he could turn on his heels and return to Britain.
Fowler has over 8,000 of the snakes, which are made from assorted household items such as socks, lengths of garden hose and women’s stockings filled with newspaper. They all have trademark googly eyes and a forked tongue cut from leather.
The striker started making the snakes as a way to help him relax when not playing and some of his finest efforts were displayed in the corner of a room in London’s Tate Modern last year.
But Australia has notoriously strict animal import laws which include pretend creatures, and Fowler’s application has been dismissed with no recourse to him to appeal.
A host of Championship and League One clubs, along with collectors of artificial reptiles have been put on red alert.