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Case of mistaken identity at John Smith's Stadium

Martin Warhurst - not Jan Siewert
Martin Warhurst - not Jan Siewert

Lifelong Manchester City fan Martin Warhurst saw the lighter side as a case of mistaken identity led to him being touted as the next Huddersfield boss on live television.

Warhurst - chief executive of Martin House, a charity that provides hospice care for children and young people across West, North and East Yorkshire - was attending the John Smith's Stadium for the first time in his life to watch City take on the Terriers.

Sat in the directors' box, he was alerted to Sky Sports beaming his face around the country, suggesting he might be Borussia Dortmund reserve team coach Jan Siewert, who has been heavily linked with the vacant Huddersfield manager's job.

Warhurst told Press Association Sport: "It was bizarre. Basically what happened is I was sat in the crowd and suddenly I was aware of a guy coming towards me from the right hand side

"He said, 'Are you Jan, the new manager?' I laughed and said, 'No, no, that's not me. I'm Martin from Wakefield'.

"It was absolutely bizarre. I thought the guy who came over to me asking if I was Jan was going to say something like, 'Excuse me, sir, but you're sat in the wrong seat'. I had to double take when he asked me if I was Jan.

"That was all I heard of it and then suddenly everybody's phones and my phone started going crazy, saying, 'I've just seen you on telly'.

"There was lots of reaction from people in the crowd - just people coming up and having selfies and people patting me on the back and wishing me luck.

"I was on my way back up to the table where we were being hosted and a father and son stopped me and the dad said, 'This is the new manager'."

Warhurst can see his likeness to Siewert, who succeeded Norwich boss Daniel Farke in charge of Dortmund's second string, a post held before that by recently-departed Town boss David Wagner.

He added: "I was quite happy. It's all in good jest. It's funny to be mistaken in that way and certainly not what I expected when I came to watch a football match.

"A couple of the girls next to me had pulled up pictures online to search what he looked like and they did a split screen thing. There is a bit of a resemblance so I can sort of understand where they're coming from - obviously I'm a much more attractive guy, though!

"I will be following him more closely from now on - my doppelganger. I had no idea about him, I didn't know who the club had been linked with.

"I obviously knew that they'd parted company with Wagner and I was coming today thinking I'm sure the crowd will have their theories and there might be some chat going on the table where I'm sat. But little did I know that I'd become the chat."

If Siewert does succeed Wagner then he has a monumental challenge ahead, with Huddersfield rock-bottom of the Premier League and 10 points adrift of safety following Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Warhurst says his "love affair with Manchester City goes back to when I was a little boy" and he had a unique take on how he would stop the reigning top-flight champions.

He added: "My tip, if I were the Huddersfield manager playing against a team like Manchester City, I think if they played a formation of 5-5-5, they might actually stand a chance!

"But I think they played well today and I was quite impressed with what I saw."

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

We compile the Sporting Life team's best best for Saturday February 16.

Our best bets for the latest FA Cup round2

FA Cup betting preview

Paul Higham casts an eye over the fifth round games in the FA Cup with best bets for every game coming up over the weekend.

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Sporting Life Accumulator

This week's Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams from the EFL, enhanced to 22/1 with title sponsors Sky Bet.

Javi Gracia: The Spaniard's Watford side are in the last eight of the FA Cup4

Watford book quarter-final place

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