Pre-season friendlies are some of the more light-hearted fixtures in a very competitive football calendar in England.
While players are just willing to brush the rust off their legs before what is likely to be a gruelling football season, fans are in a playful mood as well – and it seemed like so was the match official when Aston Villa took a trip to Bristol City yesterday.
Premier League referee Kevin Friend displayed his sense of humour when he showed a yellow card to Aston Villa fans calling him a “sh*t Mike Dean” in Villa’s pre-season friendly against Bristol City.
It was when Friend awarded a free kick to Aston Villa, that the travelling Villa fans decided to give Friend some playful stick as chants of “you’re just a sh*t Mike Dean” rang around the stadium – referring to Friend’s eccentric colleague in the Premier League.
The chants were followed by chants of “Kevin, give us a wave”, and Friend obliged in a hilarious manner – and whipped out a yellow card and mockingly pointed at the Villa fans.
Excited with the response, the Villa fans put out a collectively loud roar in a hilarious moment in the middle of the game.
Much to the crowd’s amusement, it was a brilliant interaction of a referee with the fans – something not usually seen in a top-level football match.
The moment went viral on social media platforms following the match, as Friend must have made his colleague Mike Dean crack a smile at home – by coming up with a theatrical booking that Dean would certainly be proud of.
Football fans also seemed to enjoy the pre-season shenanigans, as it was a not-so-Friendly (pun intended) piece of interaction that served up a number of laughs on social media platforms.