A very good boy - Town’s explosive detection dog retires

Explosive detection dog Zero, a fixture at Portman Road, has retired at the age of 11. Picture: ITFC

Explosive detection dog Zero, a fixture at Portman Road, has retired at the age of 11. Picture: ITFC - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town have seen their first retirement of the season - explosive detection dog Zero has called it a day.

Explosive detection dog Zero at work at Portman Road. Picture: ITFC

Explosive detection dog Zero at work at Portman Road. Picture: ITFC - Credit: Archant

Crossbreed Zero was a fixture at Portman Road every match day, and would have worked his final game yesterday.

But with the season suspended due to coronavirus, he’ll chase a ball off into retirement now as he approaches his 11th birthday.

MORE: Forrest on his 5,000-mile journey into the unknown, glory under Lyall and helping the coronavirus fight in CanadaFor the past three years, Zero has proved popular with both staff and fans at the club, as he patrolled the perimeter of the stadium, checked unattended bags and bins and searched supporters and their bags for pyrotechnics – which he can detect as they use similar chemicals to explosive devices.Zero’s owner Sarah, who adopted him as a one-year-old, said: “He was an unwanted pet advertised on the internet but I knew he was the right partner, so I took him on and trained him.“He started out his career in 2011 and in in 2012 he was at the Olympic Park, long before it was hosting the Games. At the club he has supported the search teams before, during and after the match.MORE: ‘We have to use this as a reset’ - Chambers on Town’s promotion hopes if and when football returns

“Zero might be a ’scruffy’ cross breed but he has proved himself a top-rate search dog over and over.”

A spokesman for Town added: “Everyone at ITFC would like to thank Zero for his service and wish him a happy retirement.”

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