A fan stepped in to help referee Norwich City vs Preston North End after the linesman got injured

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Surely a dream come true for this season ticket holder?

David Thornhill (left) replaced the fourth official after linesman Mark Jones had to retire (Chris Radburn/EMPICS Sport)

Saturday’s Championship game between Norwich City and Preston North End was rescued by a fan who volunteered to step in as the fourth official following an injury.

In the 84th minute of the game at Carrow Road, linesman Mark Jones had to leave the field due to an injury. This meant that the fourth official, Andy Davies, had to take his place, leaving the fourth official position uncovered.

The minutes dragged on as the referee team tried to decide if they needed to call the game off or call for emergency cover. Luckily, a hero in the crowd was willing to help.

David Thornhill, lifelong fan of the Norwich City and qualified referee, made himself known to the team by shouting down from the stands.

Unbelievably, soon after he was given the LED board and displayed extra time and substitutions on it.

Norwich City v Preston North End – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Chris Radburn/Empics)


In a serendipitous turn of events, Thornhill also featured in Saturday’s match day programme.

As Norwich City says: “Always bring your boots”. You never know when you may be needed!

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