Saturday`s match at Carrow Road ended in a 1-1 draw between City and Preston but it was memorable for the bizarre incident that saw Norwich fan, Dave “Spud” Thornhill replace the fourth official after a linesman suffered an injury late on.
Linesman Mark Jones suddenly signalled he was in trouble in the 80th minute and then proceeded to limp, very slowly, across the pitch. Normally, you`d assume that when the fourth official replaces the injured official that he would be able to stand in as fourth official.
In this case though, Mr Jones was in such pain that he couldn`t do that. The original fourth official, Andy Davies took his tracksuit top off and took Jones` flag only for Jones to drag himself off down the tunnel.
I did notice that no one seemed to offer him any help at all!
Anyway, the players all came over for a drink and tactics talk with their respective benches as the delay ran into around ten minutes. While this was going on the referee spoke with both managers and kept pointing at a piece of paper.
I couldn`t quite work out what was happening until I saw some chap appear and put on the fourth official`s tracksuit top. He was wearing blue jeans and was apparently some bloke out of the crowd.
It turns out that this bloke was Dave “Spud” Thornhill, a huge Norwich fan and qualified local referee. I like to imagine that the ref shouted out to the crowd, “is there a referee in the house?” Only for Spud to put his hand up.
One of his first actions was to hold up the electronic board signalling ten minutes.
You can watch highlights and see Spud`s big moment, courtesy of Sky Sports here