Bizarre scenes as Norwich City fan David ‘Spud’ Thornhill forced to step in as fourth official at Preston game

David Thornhill with his match programmes and memorabilia. He had to step up as fourth official in N

David Thornhill with his match programmes and memorabilia. He had to step up as fourth official in Norwich's game with Preston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

There were bizarre scenes at the close of Norwich City's game with Preston North End on Saturday (25 November) - when a Canaries superfan had to be plucked from the crowd to serve as fourth official.

David 'Spud' Thornhill had to step in as fourth official because the assistant referee Mark Jones had limped off down the tunnel. That meant the fourth official Andy Davies had to take his place running the line.

So, Mr Thornhill, a qualified referee who officiates in local games, had to take the place of Mr Davies as fourth official. One of his first actions was to hold aloft the board signalling at least 10 minutes of added time.

Mr Thornhill's first Carrow Road game was in 1982 and he has a whole room at his Sprowston home dedicated to his Canaries memorabilia and programmes.

Perhaps appropriately, he featured in today's match programme himself.

David 'Spud' Thornhill comes out of the Carrow Road crowd to become the fourth official in the match

David 'Spud' Thornhill comes out of the Carrow Road crowd to become the fourth official in the match between Norwich City and Preston North End. Pic: Michael Bailey. - Credit: Archant


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He has cats called Wesley and Eadie, named after Canaries stars Wes Hoolahan and Darren Eadie.

He also owns every Norwich City match programme, home and away, which has been published since August 1971.

The match ended 1-1, with James Maddison's 34th minute free kick cancelled out by a 70th minute equaliser from Preston's Tom Barkhuizen.

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Norwich fan David "Spud" Thornhill gets ready for his stint as fourth official. Picture by Paul Ches

Norwich fan David "Spud" Thornhill gets ready for his stint as fourth official. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 64026725/11/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Assistant Referee Mark Jones has to leave the match through injury and is replaced by Fourth Officia

Assistant Referee Mark Jones has to leave the match through injury and is replaced by Fourth Official Andy Davies. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 64026725/11/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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