David Parkin on doppelgängers and rainbows

DO you have a doppelgänger?

No, it’s not something you buy from Anne Summers, but the German word for look-a-like.

It literally translates as “double-goer” (I’ve met one or two in my time) and is often applied when someone looks like a famous person.

In Germany it is traditionally seen as a harbinger of bad luck.

That was certainly the case last Saturday.

Going to the BBC Sport website to check on the progress of the Huddersfield Town v Leeds United match, my eye was caught by a photo of a familiar face.

Why illustrate the live match report with a picture of Huddersfield Town’s commercial director, Sean Jarvis, I wondered?

He’s not a bad looking bloke but that’s not a good enough excuse.

Clicking onto the live match report I noticed another photograph of a yawning Sean Jarvis with the caption: ‘New Huddersfield manager David Wagner doesn’t look entertained by the match.

Clearly the journalists operating the BBC Sport website thought that the bearded, spectacle-wearing Jarvis was the bearded spectacle-wearing former Borussia Dortmund coach and former US international David Wagner.

Given the Terriers lost the match to their West Yorkshire rivals 3-0 then the BBC’s mistake – also made by the Daily Mail’s Mail Online site – certainly did bring bad luck.

The BBC quickly deleted the yawning photo of Sean Jarvis from their report, but left the photo of him on the sport homepage for some time longer.

There is more than one doppelgänger among the supporters of Huddersfield Town.

When the club played away at Leeds the season before last the fixture took place just after new owner Massimo Cellino had dismissed manager Brian McDermott and just before he performed a volte-face and reinstated him.

My old Yorkshire Post colleague Jason Taylor, commercial manager of Kirklees College, and a Town fan, was enjoying hospitality in a suite at Elland Road hosted by Leeds United legend Norman Hunter.

Seeing Jason, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the shaven-headed, bespectacled McDermott, in the audience, Norman invited him up on stage to discuss his recent sacking.

Jason entered into the spirit of things and when asked whether he’d received any compensation from Cellino, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a handful of coins and said: “Yes, about £2.75.”

Talk of such doppelgängers made me think of other look-a-likes among Huddersfield Town supporters I know.

Before his recent diet, Andy Needham of Approved Foods, who appeared on Dragons’ Den, had a passing resemblance to Bungle from Rainbow, while Paul “Rambo” Ramsden, the big-bearded match-day announcer at the John Smith’s Stadium, looks a bit like co-star George and Jason Taylor is a dead ringer for Zippy.

That’s the outfits sorted for Huddersfield Town’s Christmas party.

No need to thank me boys.


SADLY I’ve never been compared to anyone famous that I’d want to look like.

But reports this week that Yorkshire-based entrepreneur and lifelong Leeds United fan Steve Parkin, of Clipper Group, is being linked with a bid for the club did bring back one memory.

A few years ago, when Leeds United were struggling financially (that doesn’t really narrow things down over the last decade, does it?), Steve Parkin was mentioned as a potential buyer for the club.

I walked into the former Brio restaurant in Leeds and was greeted with a deep bow from manager Pino, a stalwart of the city’s restaurant sector now enjoying retirement as a grande formaggio in his native Puglia.

“Mr Parkin, I have your table waiting sir,” said Pino, whisking me to the best table, a benefit usually accorded to successful businessmen such as Arnold Ziff and Peter Gilman or Leeds United’s lawyer Peter McCormick.

It wasn’t until later that someone broke the news to Pino that the Parkin he had been impressing was not the self-made logistics tycoon but a penniless journalist with an eye for a free lunch.

Have a great weekend.

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