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Liverpool star outlaws fox hunt as lord of the manor.

Byline: BY IAN LEONARD Daily Post Correspondent

LIVERPOOL soccer star Djibril Cisse has refused to allow fox hunting at his Cheshire estate after an appeal by anti-hunt campaigners.

'I will not permit hunting on my land,' he said yesterday.

Cisse recently inherited the title Lord of the Manor of Frodsham after buying a pounds 2m house in the Cheshire village.

The title, which dates back to the Domesday Book, was given as part of the sale of the Ridge Manor estate by previous owner Raymond Longster.

The Cheshire Forest Hunt was given permission to use the nine-acre estate by Mr Longster, and hunters were hoping for a similar arrangement with the 23-year-old French International.

They also planned to ask him to joint the hunt ahead of the new hunting season in September.

Joint Master of the Cheshire Hunt Richard de Prez said: 'Mr Longster was part of the Holcombe Hunt in Lancashire but he used to invite us to use Ridge Manor and would hunt with us on those days.

'We planned to write to Mr Cisse in due course, as we do will all landowners, to see if we could come to a similar arrangement.'

Cisse would be 'very welcome' to join the hunt, he added.

But the footballer decided to refuse the hunt's request after an appeal by the League Against Cruel Sports for the hunters to be banned from his estate.

Wanda Wyporska, spokesperson for LACS, said: 'The League is delighted that Djibril Cisse has banned the cruelty of the hunt from his land.

'The Cheshire Forest Hunt has said that it intends to shoot foxes next season and we welcome the fact that this slaughter will not be taking place at Ridge Manor House.

She added: 'Cisse has set a wonderful example to other landowners and to fans in saying no to this cruelty.' Under the Hunting Act, which came into effect in February, hunting with a pack of dogs is now a criminal offence.

But foxes can be shot after being flushed out by no more than two hounds and drag hunts, where hounds chase a scented trail, remain legal.

Mr de Prez claimed the anti-hunt campaigners had 'jumped the gun' by writing to Cisse.

But he admitted the hunt intended to legally shoot foxes once the new hunting season was under way in September He said: 'The hunt will abide by Mr Cisse's decision.

'We are not going to go where we are not welcome.

'But I would like the opportunity to introduce myself to him.

'It is shame the anti-hunt lobby has seized on this now, as I had no intention of discussing it with him before Liverpool's important match next week.'

Ridge Manor has views overlooking Frodsham Golf course and the Mersey estuary.

It has six bedrooms, four bathroooms, three stables, a ballroom, a tennis court, an indoor pool, a garage with room for six cars, and a chauffeur's cottage.

The Lordship of Frodsham can be traced back to 1086 and William the Conqueror's Domesday Book land register.

The title has passed through various families and was even held by the Royal family, most notably Edward the Black Prince, in the mid-14th century.

Liverpool smashed their transfer record last summer when they paid Auxerre more than pounds 14m for Cisse.

His first season was disrupted by a broken leg he suffered against Blackburn in October, but the striker recently returned to action and is in the squad for Liverpool's European Cup final against AC Milan next Wednesday

CAPTION(S):

The Cheshire Hunt in action, with new Lord of the Manor Djibril Cisse, right, playing for Liverpool last weekend; Previous owner Raymond Longster in front of the home he sold to Cisse
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 18, 2005
Words:619
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