ROTTERDAM - It was a completely insignificant moment during an exciting derby between Sparta and Feijenoord (1-1). Yet everyone was talking about it. In the second half of the match, Feyenoord keeper Eddy Treijtel shot a ball full on a seagull flying over. The animal fell straight down and was dead from the blow.

The incident happened in the 63e minute of the game. Treijtel, goalkeeper for the Castle Stand, shot a ball far and high from his hands after an interrupted Sparta attack. A black-headed gull flew at a height of thirty meters a few dozen meters away. The animal got full and then fell down, right next to the bewildered Dordrecht referee Ad Bogaerts.

One of the Sparta players, Hans Eijkenbroek, then picked up the animal and threw it over the sidelines. Then the game continued with a referee's ball as if nothing had happened.

The audience could laugh at the action that cost the seagull's life. Jokingly comments were made from the sidelines like "Treijtel murderer".

Yet the Treijtel incident hardly seemed to do anything. He hardly realized that anything special had happened, he said afterwards. Still, he could still joke about the afternoon's events.

“As long as I don't get bothered with animal protection”

(The Telegraph, 16-11-1970)

Picked up

Where the gull is now, is unclear. At the end of the game, to the chagrin of Sparta, hundreds of Feyenoord supporters take to the field. They had mainly managed to cut holes in the brand new fences at the visitors' section. Part of the supporters angered referee Bogaerts, which was brought to safety by leaders Eijkenbroek and Israel.

Another supporter went to the billboard where Eijkenbroek had deposited the dead gull. That supporter took the seagull.

Hoe ging het verder:

Despite the fact that it was a meaningless moment, all newspapers in the Netherlands opened the next morning with the story about the Meeuw van Treijtel. Sterker nog, the story continues to haunt him. Despite the fact that he becomes national champion with Feyenoord and AZ and also takes the World Cup for club teams, he is always linked to that one moment with that gull.

The gull eventually reappears. Sterker nog, two gulls emerge. One ends up in the Home of History, the Feyenoord museum. But there is also a seagull in the Sparta stadium. It is food for discussion. Both clubs claim they have "the real one.".


Trouw – 16-11-1970 – Treytel shoots seagull

Telegraph – 16-11-1970 – Fout

Het Vrije Volk – 16-11-1970 – Eddie Treytel shoots gull-in-flight dead

TVNZ – 16-11-1970 – Collision without profit

Author: Dave Datema

published: 14-11-1970

story number:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.