I have to admit I was tickled pink recently by a story that I was initially convinced was an April Fool's joke.
However, a quick check on the date of the story - 16th March - shows that it is either a very early prank or an extremely elaborate hoax. Or perhaps it's true.
Whatever the veracity of the story, it is claimed that Nottingham RFC's recent National Division One clash with Exeter at Meadow Lane was watched by an an extra 1,000 inflatable fans provided by a local company who specialise in enhancing crowd scenes for films and TV.
The company had apparently spent hours blowing up and dressing up the "supporters", who sat in the Family Stand, attempting to make them look indistinguishable from the normal fans. The idea was that the presence of an extra 1,000 inflatable "people" in the crowd would encourage more supporters to come and cheer on their local team.
I'm not so sure about how that might work - unless the inflatables start paying for tickets - but, you never know, this might just catch on. Who knows, it might not be too long before teams employ inflatable players (a cunning ploy, perhaps, to circumvent the salary cap) - although to be honest in some some cases I reckon it would be nigh on impossible to spot the difference.