Manchester City’s experiment from May 2005 which saw them stick David James up front will never be repeated, says former Blues goalkeeper Nicky Weaver.
Stuart Pearce was the man to make a rather baffling coaching call towards the end of a Premier League meeting with Middlesbrough.
City needed a goal late on in that contest to book themselves a place in the UEFA Cup.
Jon Macken, a £5 million striker, was among those on the bench that Pearce could have turned to for inspiration.
Instead, he opted to throw on Weaver between the sticks and push England international shot-stopper James into a striking berth.
The plan almost worked, with Robbie Fowler missing a costly penalty, but nobody has sought to take a similar approach in the 15 years since.
Weaver cannot see another Premier League boss making the same decision, with Pearce and James set to retain a remarkable entry in the history of English top-flight football.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see a goalkeeper get put upfront for the last 10 minutes of a game,” Weaver told City’s official website.
“It was an unbelievable thing, that! That was the first thing I did at the stadium so that was my debut there!
“I didn’t know what was going on. The only three that knew were Stuart Pearce, David James and Les Chapman – the kit man.
“The first thing I knew, it was about eight or nine minutes to go and the goalkeeping coach told me to get ready. Then Stuart Pearce says: ‘Get ready, you’re going on’ and I didn’t know what was going on!
“And then the next minute, the kit man pulls David James’ shirt out as an outfield shirt.
“Jon Macken is sat next to me – we paid £5 million for him! God knows what he must have thought but it nearly worked!
“James caused a little bit of carnage and Robbie Fowler missed the penalty which would have put us into Europe.
“I very much doubt we’ll see it again. It was a bit of a corny thing at the time. Everyone had a laugh about it but it nearly worked.
“If it had have worked and we’d have won, Stuart Pearce would have called it a masterstroke but we haven’t seen it since and I doubt we’ll see it again.”
With Pearce looking for a big man to spark panic in the opposition penalty area, Weaver could easily have been the man to get the nod.
Pressed on whether he would have fared any better than James, a keeper who took in 207 appearances for City added: “Probably not! I’d have probably have been as bad as James!
“When I look back, it was my girlfriend’s first game and she said afterwards: ‘Does that happen all the time?’ and I said: ‘You’ll never see that for the rest of your life!’
“It was an unbelievable day. Looking back now, I can’t stop laughing about it really!”