A non-league football stalwart has become an internet sensation after his surprise goalkeeping exploits caught the attention of Twitter followers across the globe.
Andy Hudson, who holds three roles with Northern League side Jarrow Roofing, had been manning the club’s Twitter account during their friendly at Hartlepool on Saturday.
My phone has gone berserk with notifications since I sent the tweetAndy Hudson
However, when goalkeeper Andy Jennison went down with a calf injury with 35 minutes left, Andy – who is the Roofers’ vice-chairman, media and communications manager and goalkeeping coach – was called into action.
The match finished 1-1, with Andy conceding once, but it wasn’t until after the game that the world started to respond.
After retrieving his phone after the game and returning to Twitter, the 37-year-old communications assistant sent a tweet on the club’s account which said: “Sorry for no updates during the game after half-time.
“The lad handling the account had to go in goal.”
That post has now been retweeted almost 5,000 times, with the club receiving messages from as far afield as Japan.
Andy, from Jarrow, said: “My phone has gone berserk with notifications since I sent the tweet.
“When I sent it from the dressing room after the game, I thought it would get a few retweets, but nothing on this sort of scale.
“The best thing about it is that it gets the name of the club out there and gets people more aware of not just the club, but the volunteers behind the scenes of clubs all over non-league football.”
Roofing chairman and manager Richie McLoughlin has now signed Andy on as cover ahead of the upcoming Northern League Division One season.
As well as the huge response on Twitter, Andy has also been featured on local radio channels and on high-profile websites, including the BBC.
When Jennison went down injured, Roofing had used all of their substitutes, and all eyes fell on Andy to save the day.
He added: “I didn’t really have time to think about it, but the first thing that went through my head was a bit of panic.
“I was a goalkeeper all the way through school, and I played Sunday league, but my last game at that level was about eight years ago.
“I didn’t have to do much apart from a few kicks, but I saved what would have been the winner at the end.”