Football: Parachutist interrupts English match

LONDON (REUTERS) - An English minor league football match was halted at the weekend when a parachutist landed in the middle of the pitch.

To the amazement of the Salisbury and Chester players and the 1,000 fans inside the stadium, the airborne invader touched down in the second half.

He then calmly packed up his chute and walked off to applause from the supporters.

Former Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham, now playing for fifth-tier Chester, said it was one of the strangest things he had seen in his long career.

"The most bizarre thing I have ever seen on a football pitch happened today," the 34-year-old said on Twitter.

"Half way through the second half out of nowhere a parachutist landed on the pitch. No idea where he was supposed to land but he hit the ground hard. #bizarre."

Home side Salisbury won the Conference match 3-1.

Parachutists have interrupted sporting contests before, most famously during a heavyweight boxing clash between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield in 1993.

His arrival was less popular though, as he was set upon by members of the audience in Las Vegas.

A parachutist died in 2008 when he crash-landed in the stadium before an under-18 football international between France and Ukraine in Orleans.

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