​Globetrotting goalie and former Nottingham Forest star Lutz Pfannenstiel has claimed that he is not the culprit behind the theft of a penguin.

The extraordinary crime - one that Pfannenstiel has previous for - was reported by the ​Sun, with the paper stating that police in Germany had contacted the 43-year-old over his apparent involvement in stealing the animal from a park in Mannheim.

Pfannenstiel remarkably committed a similar crime years ago during his time with Dunedin in New Zealand's football league. However, he stated that he was not the man that the authorities were looking for on this occasion, and pleaded for the actual thieves to return the bird to its home.

The Hoffenheim scout said: “The police phoned me about a stolen penguin. They had received an anonymous tip-off that I might be involved.

“But it wasn’t me. I urge the thief to return the penguin, as this is no joke. I know it well from the sins of my youth.

“In 2003 I took a penguin home from its colony and put it in my bathtub. But I returned it inside two days after my club chairman explained penguins were a protected species. Besides, my housemates were not delighted, as it stank like a fish factory. I did not steal it – I just borrowed it.”

The 43-year-old enjoyed a nomadic career during his playing days, playing on six continents for clubs like Forest, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Orlando Pirates and FC Bad Kotzking during his globetrotting 20 year playing career.

Pfannenstiel, who had initially admitted to stealing the penguin in his autobiography 'The Unstoppable Keeper', also coached an Antartic XI in 2010, spent over 100 days in jail in Singapore for match fixing allegations and was declared dead in December 2002 after he stopped breathing on three occasions during a Northern Premier League match between Bradford Park Avenue and Harrogate Town.

A remarkable story for a remarkable man, it would seem.

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