WANDERERS’ game at Millwall this afternoon took a bizarre twist when one of the home fans ended up as a linesman!

The odd sequence of events began before the game when referee Tony Harrington pulled out through illness, to be replaced by fourth official Lee Swabey.

But when Swabey was forced off with a calf injury midway through the first half – the game was halted for five minutes as the stand-in fourth official, a Millwall supporter, was given emergency orders to run the line.

For the remainder of the first half and the whole of the second, linesman John Leach was referee and Steve Perry – who is normally found on the parks pitches of the South Eastern Premier League – acted as his assistant. The injured Swabey was then placed between the two dugouts as fourth official.

Phil Parkinson, whose side had two points snatched away from them late in the game, recounted the story after the final whistle.

“It was chaos,” he said. “The first ref got injured in the warm-up so we had a Millwall fan as fourth official, who jumped up and applauded when Jordan Archer made that double save in the first half. We had a moan to him, jokingly.

“But then all of a sudden that Millwall fan became the linesman. It was strange and we we’re 1-0 up but then the assessor came down at half time to say they had to speak to Dave Allison to see what the procedure is now. God knows what would have happened if another one went down.

“It was a bit chaotic because, as you know, it can be difficult for referees and linesmen at Millwall at the best of times. But when you have got a Millwall fan who has come out of the stand and ends up running the line… Well, thankfully he showed plenty of integrity.”