The last weekend of the Sky Bet Championship saw Bolton Wanderers come perilously close to relegation before performing 11th-hour heroics, but one of their players continued the spirit of careless risk-taking after the whistle had gone, and needed Twitter to help him out.
Bolton were in the bottom three of the division on Sunday morning, but scored twice in the last five minutes of their game against Nottingham Forest to dramatically claim the win they needed to survive, and defender Mark Little celebrated by generously donating his jacket to a fan.
Unfortunately for Little, who has been part of a defence that has been a little too charitable in conceding 74 goals this season, it was a bit of an own goal as his wallet and wedding ring were in the pocket of the clothing item.
Little realised his gaffe and thought the best way to get his inadvertently donated valuables back would be to use Twitter to appeal to his 11,000 followers, so he tweeted the below just hours after the game had finished:
The 29-year-old was even wise enough to start the hashtag #findlittswallet. The hashtag was shared by Bolton Wanderers’ official Twitter page as well as fans’ pages Trotters Blog and BwfcGoals, both of which have thousands of followers.
Luckily for Little, the fan who had received the jacket had posted on a Facebook group about the little surprises in the pockets, and this was brought to the attention of the footballer in the responses to the tweet.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the great escape his team had just pulled off, Little had had too much to drink to drive over to the fan there and then, but they met up the following day and the belongings went back to their owner, as Little’s tweet from Monday shows.
In the midst of exuberant celebrations, it’s not uncommon for items to go missing, and unfortunately most of us don’t have the audience of a Championship footballer to reach out to in an effort to get them back. Nonetheless, the story shows the power of social media in spreading appeals across a wide audience, and demonstrates how quickly they can be resolved. The fact that both Twitter and Facebook were involved in the rescue also gives an example of the cross-channel nature of social media and how they can link together towards a goal.