The Anfield cat rose to prominence earlier this season, while dogs are virtually common place on soccer pitches, and now the Ewood Park chicken can now take its rightful place in the pantheon of soccer's animal invaders.

The unfortunate bird was fitted with a Blackburn Rovers flag before making his way onto the playing surface during the club's match against Wigan Athletic on Monday. After a brief delay a combination of Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi and Blackburn striker Yakubu were able to secure the chicken and hand him off to a steward.

It is assumed that the chicken was smuggled into the stadium and sent toward the pitch as part of a protest against Blackburn's owners, Venky's, one of the giants of the poultry industry.

A large section of Blackburn's fans have called on the Indian owners to sell the club for much of the team's struggling season.

With two games of the season remaining before Monday's clash, Blackburn was left needing to record two wins to have any chance of staying in the Premier League.

There were vocal calls once more for Venky's to sell their stake in the Lancashire club during the crucial match with Wigan.

Venky's took over at Blackburn in November in 2010. With the club in midtable at the time, the decision was taken to replace experienced manager San Allardyce with a member of his coaching staff, Steve Kean. The previously untested manger's time in charge has been marked by much-publicized protests by a vocal element of the club's supporters.

Despite an upturn in form in early 2012, Blackburn has lost six of its last seven matches to leave them on the verge of relegation from England's top flight.