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Casually-Dressed Elderly Fan Replaces Linesman, After Female Referee Gets Injured In FC United Of Manchester Game

An elderly non-League football fan got very involved in FC United of Manchester’s Evo-Stik Northern Premier League game at Nantwich Town on Saturday.

Above image courtesy of Simon J. Newbury Photography.

Referee Helen Byrne (below) injured her thigh in the 35th minute of United’s 2-1 win at the Weaver Stadium, leaving the officials short-staffed.

Referee Helen Byrne

With play stalled, Nantwich press officer Richard Scott, who was in charge of the PA system, sent out an SOS call, asking if any members of the crowd were qualified FA officials.

The gentleman pictured above came to the rescue and, although he knew how to handle a flag, he was certainly not dressed for the job.

After impressively huffing and puffing his way through the remainder of the first half, the volunteer stepped down at the interval, after a replacement official had arrived.

The match was 0-0 at half time, but goals from Tom Greaves and Tom Brown secured United’s fifth league win of the season, after Aaron Burns had fired mid-table Nantwich in front.

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Refereeing injuries are not uncommon at Nantwich, according to press officer Scott (pictured below).

“It is the third time this season that the Dabbers (Nantwich’s nickname) have needed a replacement,” Scott explained.

“I was just glad to have helped and that the game was able to continue and finish, despite the nine-minute delay.”

Richard Scott, Nantwich Town press officer

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