Just when you've thought you'd seen it all...
As Norwich City's Championship clash with Preston North End was in the dying stages, with the score at 1-1, the game was very nearly abandoned after a hamstring injury to one of the linesman.
While the 4th official was on hand to replace the injured linesman, somehow, there was nobody available to replace the 4th official which saw the match referee bring a halt to the game and discuss the options with both sets of players and managers.
But the day was saved by a paying fan, who also happens to be a local football referee. Having made himself available, he was asked to stand in as fourth-official, jeans and all, in a farcical turn of events best described by the bemused BBC reporter at the ground.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) November 25, 2017
Images soon emerged of the game of the local man learning to use the 4th official's board.
It truly is one of the most bizarre sights on a football pitch in recent memory.
Right. So we've got a local qualified referee about to get changed to operate as the fourth official for the closing stages it seems! #ncfc
Always bring your boots, eh?
NCFC 1-1 PNE (88)
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) November 25, 2017
Crazy scenes at Carrow Road. Here's a local ref who was paying spectator roped into be 4th official as asst ref injured & 4th official replaced him, leaving no official 4th official. Here he is learning how to use subs board! #bbcfootball #Ncfc #pnefc pic.twitter.com/ulOe0QKsfD
— Marc Webber (@marcwebber) November 25, 2017
Kollar Norwich-Preston, en linjedomare blir skadad och fjärdedomaren tar över. Den här snubben från läktaren får bli fjärdedomare. Bar överkropp under jackan som de slängde på honom i sista minuten. pic.twitter.com/N5FtcL2gYY
— Olle Sundgren (@Olle_Sundgren) November 25, 2017
Fair play to the man for rescuing the day, but really, how was there no plan in place for an injury to one of the officials? It's an embarrassing moment for the Football League, as there would have been a lot of furious football fans if a match had been abandoned at 1-1 in the 88th minute due to a linesman getting a hamstring injury...
Actually, could the linesman not have just held the board up, even with his injury? A truly bizarre moment.