The day Jimmy Hill stepped in as an emergency linesman

Jimmy Hill was well known as a footballer, a manager and a pundit – but not so many people remember his very brief stint as a linesman.

Hill, who has died at the age of 87, was at a Division One match between Arsenal and Liverpool in September 1972 when one of the linesmen, Dennis Drewitt, picked up an injury and he volunteered to step in – much to the obvious amusement of Charlie George and Bill Shankly.

Here he is talking about the experience on The Big Match the following day.

The match is recalled fondly in a piece on the Arsenal website.

It reads: “The matchday announcer put a message over the loudspeaker asking if anyone was a qualified referee and would volunteer to run the line. Out of the crowd came none other than TV pundit Jimmy Hill!

“Jimmy was a qualified referee and had been at Highbury that day as a spectator. He quickly donned a tracksuit and stepped in for the injured Mr Drewitt.

“The match ended in a 0-0 draw, but will forever be remembered for the antics of Jimmy Hill.”

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