Rob McCaffrey talks sport
Paul Scally's turtles and a chance to chat with Gary Pallister Discuss this article
- Picture 1 of 2
I think it’s fair to say, Gillingham chairman and Dubai resident Paul Scally has had mixed fortunes when it comes to his domestic pet arrangements. Not so long ago, Paul befriended and tamed a magnificent cockatoo. However, just after spending a fortune on a huge cage and naming it Houdini... it escaped, never to be seen again.
And now he’s moved on to turtles, after a friend gave him two magnificent 60-year-old scaly creatures for the back garden. Unfortunately, it takes two to tango in the turtle world, just as it does in any other – he’s now expecting little turtles. Unfortunately again, opinions vary as to how many the new ‘batch’ may include. Guesses range from five to 50, so he’s already built a mega Turtle House. In fairness, the house is impressive, with a ranch-style effort for the parents and a smaller house for the babies, decorated tastefully in green and blue.
His wife has already begun frantically trying to find homes for the little turtles. A local primary school has taken on a couple, while other kids are all booking their own ‘turtle babies’ in advance. Meanwhile, the parents, Blake and Amy (as in Winehouse), are going about preparing for the births. Amy’s buried the eggs in the sand and sits protectively on top of the scuffled mound.
Quite rightly, Paul’s very proud of the new members of the Scally household, and is already on the lookout for a couple of camels. I think he now sees himself as the Doctor Doolittle of Dubai.
All jokes that the speed of the turtles reflects the speed of his football team have been dismissed, as the Gills are in play-off contention in league two, and are the division’s top scorers and entertainers.
The turtle births are imminent and, rather like that evocative scene in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s brilliant River Cottage programme (when he gets up in the middle of the night to watch the birth of a lamb), Paul has promised to be on hand, day or night, to video the dramatic moments. I’ll keep you posted.
You just couldn’t make it up.
Hear Rob’s radio shows on Coast 103.2FM every Friday 11am-2pm, and every Saturday 6pm-9pm live from the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 399 5000).
And another thing…
Come down and quiz former Manchester United and England star Gary Pallister when the big man performs an ‘Evening With’ at the Mövenpick JBR on Tuesday March 27. The last night with Sam Allardyce proved a massive hit, and we’ve already signed up the hilarious Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, for April. The great thing is that you have the chance to ask any question you want in a chilled-out atmosphere. It’s also free to get in. Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach, The Walk at JBR (04 449 8888).
Time Out Dubai,
- Martial arts(12)
- Rugby & Gaelic(13)
- Academic City(2)
- Al Barsha(1)
- Al Quoz(16)
- Arabian Ranches(5)
- Bur Dubai(9)
- Business Bay(3)
- Discovery Gardens(1)
- Downtown Dubai(6)
- Dubai Investments Park(1)
- Dubai Marina(43)
- Dubai Media City(1)
- Emirates Hills(10)
- Festival City(6)
- International City(5)
- Jebel Ali(14)
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers(4)
- Motor City(1)
- Nad Al Sheba(6)
- Oud Metha(21)
- Palm Jumeirah(9)
- Sheikh Zayed Road(23)
- The Gardens(2)
- Umm Suqeim(8)
Most viewed outlets
Our favourite features
An essential guide to renting in Dubai Beat price hikes, pick the right area, and know your rights
How to get a pay rise 20 expert tips to bag more cash from your boss
30 top outdoor bars in Dubai As the temperatures cool we round up the best places to drink outside in...
26 wet and wild watersports in Dubai Try kneeboarding, take a frantic ride or go down the world's largest wat...
20 best music movies ever The best music docus, star biopics and concert films ever committed to c...
Dubai: BBQ City How and where to barbecue, and restaurants to dine with the pros
10 Downtown bars and clubs to try True to its name, some of the city’s classiest bars are found in Downt...
Where do chefs eat in Dubai? Celeb chefs and local culinary heroes on where they REALLY dine
18 blow out spa treatments in Dubai Splash out with these once-in-a-lifetime spa packages
Where to watch the Premiership The best spots to catch the new Premier League season
Dubai’s best breakfasts We’ve been rising early to find the best meals to start the day
11 to try: Dubai museum guide The emirate's best museums and sights rated
Top dim sum restaurants in Dubai Recommended restaurants to sample the Chinese dining tradition
83 ways to save money in Dubai Dubai’s experts in cost efficient living share their tips
Dubai's best takeaways Indian, Chinese, Arabic, pizza and more of the best food home delivery