As a referee, Nigel Owens will have seen and heard some bizarre things down the years.
The highly-rated rugby official is never short of a quip on the pitch, but speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, Owens has revealed that one of his most memorable moments he had when officiating a match had nothing to do with him – of which he is eternally grateful.
Owens recounted the story from twenty years ago in Wales twenty years ago, when a player kept asking him to hell him when there were five minutes remaining. When it came to that time, the ref finally found out why the player was so eager to keep track of the time:
“He shook my hand, said ‘thanks very much for the game ref’ and ran off the field.
“As he’s running through the crowd, there’s about six police officers chasing after him. Everybody in the field stopped the crowd were obviously cheering him on because we had no idea what they were there to arrest him for, and I don’t know what happened.
“During that time [when he kept asking me] I was asking ‘what’s he going to do?’ but he knew exactly what he was going to do.”
Given Owens’ rise to prominence and the calibre of matches he now officiates, he is highly unlikely to see anything like that on his watch ever again.