Sky Sports mistake over Huddersfield Town manager ‘Martin from Wakefield’ helps put spotlight on Martin House Hospice

'WHO ARE YA?': 'I'm Martin  Warhurst'.
'WHO ARE YA?': 'I'm Martin Warhurst'.

Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, so the phrase goes.

he line seems written for Wakefield’s Martin Warhurst, who recently found himself unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight through a simple case of mistaken identity.

The 45-year-old was in the stands at a recent Huddersfield Town game when a journalist approached him, thinking he was the club’s new manager, German, Jan Siewert.

As the Deutsch man’s doppelganger, it was an easy mistake to make.

But the fact it was caught live on the Sky Sports cameras, plus his response to the reporter - “No, I’m Martin from Wakefield” - helped catapult him to instant stardom.

It led to a string of media appearances, including interviews on the BBC, Sky, Look North and Calendar, as well as appearing in the national press and on dozens of web sites.

22 January 2019 ......  Huddersfield Town new head coach Jan Siewert.

22 January 2019 ...... Huddersfield Town new head coach Jan Siewert.

He also appeared on Sky 1’s Soccer AM alongside England and Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.

And of course, Huddersfield Town invited him to meet their new boss, just to prove he really was who he said (complete with his initials stencilled into jersey like every good football manager - MFW - ‘Martin From Wakefield’).

But as the frenzy passes, Martin, a chief executive at Martin House Hospice, says he has used the interest to help put the Boston Spa children’s charity on the map.

He said: “It’s been a surreal experience, but it’s given me a fantastic opportunity to talk about Martin House.

“I’ve been able to spread the name of Martin House, not just around the country, but across the world, and let people know about the importance of children’s palliative care.

“I’d originally gone to the match to represent Martin House and speak to a table of eight people about what we do, but this has given me the chance to tell millions of people about our work.

“We have received a number of donations as a result of all the publicity we’ve received in the last week, but we always need to raise more. It costs £8 million a year to run Martin House, and we only receive just under £1 million of that from statutory funding – the rest we have to raise ourselves.”