2/14/2018 3:28:52 PM (GMT+3)

The four-year-old referee!

The four-year-old referee!

London: It was a sweet moment between a football-mad little girl and a female assistant referee – and it sent Twitter crazy.

“The youngster in question, four-year-old Clara, was watching Garforth Town’s 1-1 draw with Hall Road Rangers when she realised she had the same hairstyle as one of the match officials,” the Football Association wrote on their website.

Clara pointed this out to her dad, Nathan, and told him she subsequently wanted to become a referee.

Nathan posted a photo of Clara and the assistant referee, Melissa Burgin, stating his daughter’s future career choice, and Twitter did the rest. The photo captured the public’s imagination and the pair went viral overnight.

Proud dad Nathan, a Nuneaton Town fan, said, “I didn’t think anyone apart from my couple of hundred followers would see it, and I didn’t think anyone would take notice of it. So I was amazed when I woke up on the Sunday morning and seen that it had been ‘liked’ and re-tweeted that many times that Twitter had made it a ‘Moment’.”

The FA invited Clara and Nathan to St. George’s Park to watch Melissa take charge of Scotland U15s v Wales U15s on Tuesday afternoon.

Clara was given her own referee’s kit, including a flag and a whistle, and was the unofficial ‘fifth official’, helping Melissa check the nets before kick-off.

“[The tweet] just spiralled,” said Melissa, a Level 4 referee from Sheffield. “When I first saw it, it had about 100 re-tweets and then it just went viral and made it an interesting Sunday afternoon for me. It was obviously a big surprise. But it’s quite touching that we’re inspiring the younger generation.”