Fans were left in hysterics earlier in midweek as referee Stephen Martin turns into Forrest Gump at Luton Town v Preston North End.
Martin is a name not too well known by fans of English football and that’s also because he’s yet to take charge of a Premier League match in 2021/22.
Instead, he operates in the country’s lower leagues, and he featured for this Championship fixture which saw the Hatters come out 4-0 winners.
A brace from Luke Berry, a strike from Fred Onyedinma and an own goal from Bambo Diaby saw another big win for Nathan Jones’ promotion-chasing side.
So far this season, Martin has reffed 17 games in England‘s second-tier, but those watching on in the ground and via a streaming service was left in stitches at him bizarrely running at full throttle down the pitch.
After he put the ball down next to Preston goalkeeper Daniel Iversen for a free-kick, he sprinted as fast as he could to get into position near the middle of the pitch.
The run was completely unnecessary – yet hilarious – and Martin did show a serious turn of pace that quite a few players could learn from.
“And the referee, running down the field, for no apparent reason,” the commentator is heard saying, adding the randomness of it all.
Check out the video going viral below…
— Out Of Context Football (@nocontextfooty) March 18, 2022
— Ian Robertson (@Robertson_1985) March 18, 2022
What the managers said post-match…
Luton’s Nathan Jones: “If Bournemouth don’t go up, if Fulham don’t go up, it’s a disaster for them. QPR have spent massive money, Sheffield United have spent massive money, we’ve got the lowest budget in the league, with nine games to go we’re riding the wave. I’m not going to get sacked if we don’t get promoted, but we want to try and achieve something and we believe we’re good enough to achieve something.
“Sides come here that are expected to be in and around it and we’ve been more than a match for them, and tonight, against a real good Preston side, let’s not forget that, but we’ve been excellent tonight. Now to maintain that constantly is difficult with a hectic schedule, and people are having to go through the absolute mire. But we’re just showing real, real resilience, real quality, but a desire to win football games and that’s wonderful, that’s what I’m so proud of.”
Preston’s Ryan Lowe: “I didn’t see it coming at all, they were in fantastic spirits, they trained well, I just didn’t see it. I can maybe blame one or two things along the way, I’m the manager, I have to take responsibility, I pick the team, but we gave them everything to go out and execute a game-plan that they’ve executed for the last 17 or 18 games.
“It’s one that needs to be put to bed quickly, I’ll analyse, I’ll look at it and get the lads to look at it, they’re a good group and it’s hurting them in there. The only down-side is we don’t have a game on Saturday to put it right, so we’ll have a think about how we go about it but I just don’t want to see a performance like that again.”
As mentioned, fans were in hysterics as referee Stephen Martin turns into Forrest Gump at Luton, see what was said below…
@ActualOllieKay: That was spectacular
@GrantTheHatter: Just needs the Benny Hill music to be complete
@AmstrDamz: Loool why’s he sprinting like that
@ltfcJosh: Can he play centre back?
@Hazariio: Faster than Maguire
@Mattdros: Wheels on the lad.
@jackE93: Someone left the oven on.
@DizzTronics: 😂 fair play to the lad. Some pace on him
@mikedoney: Shea just said to him on your marks……. Or Elijah is chatting your missus up ?
@mikedoney: Referee on flames last night that was a good laugh. He looked bionic
@SirPablowThe1st: When she says she’s home alone
@DamienPSmith: Great turn of pace from the lad 🏃🏻♀️💨
When she tells you her parents are out of town for the evening
THE PACE ON THE LAD!
@MattHDGamer: 99 pace Refs in FIFA 23 @EASPORTSFIFA please
@JordLoudProud: Tony Pulis when he hears the full time whistle
@Turner1983: Me running back from the toilets after hearing the crowd roar at the Kenny
@Welsh_Gooner: What the fuck
@Tommybaillie: When you was out playing as a kid and your mum comes home with a mcd 💨
@sprague__: Absolute burners from the ref
@KtgBairn: Does he think the ball is a grenade
@DomTrowman: IVE GOT A RECEIPTTT, IVEE GOTTT AA REEEECCEEIPPPPTTTTTTTTT
@LukeMac: Referees proving yet again that they genuinely believe they are the main attraction
@ShikariJase: No mate, if the keeper leathers it 70 yards and he’s out of position he will get marked down by the match observer. It just looks ridiculous because of his sprinting style.
— M (@marlyb10) March 18, 2022