Police have prevented a group of eleven comedians from boarding the England World Cup plane as it left Luton Airport on Sunday.
According to officials, the men were wearing identical suits to the England travelling party, and were masquerading as professional footballers.
It was only after airport staff noticed the squad’s obvious lack of co-ordination and inability to keep possession of their luggage that the alarm was raised.
After being interviewed by police, the men confessed they were merely taking part in a comedy team called “England”, in which they play the roles of fictional sportsmen.
One of the ensemble, who gave his name only as “Frank Lampard”, admitted that many people would find the idea of a spoof football team distasteful.
“It just began as a bit of a laugh,” he told reporters this morning. “A few of us just got together and thought it would be fun to pretend to be international footballers, mucking around and seeing how silly we could look, missing the goal, falling over and generally running around acting stupid.”
“We’ve been doing it for years, and no-one’s complained so far. I’m thinking of retiring soon, to let a new generation of comedians have their go.”
This latest sporting spoof comes only a few months after it was revealed that the England team’s last few managers have also been comedy stand-ins. Starting with “Graham Taylor”, famous for his bumbling and over-defensive standup routine on the northern club circuit, the national team’s managers have been an amusing assortment of clowns, oddballs, and Steve McClaren.