A darts fan was kicked out of a live televised final after the 4,500-strong crowd interrupted play by taunting him – because he looks like Jesus.
Nathan Grindal was enjoying the clash between Phil Taylor and Kim Huybrechts when some of the audience spotted his likeness to the son of God.
Chants of ‘Jesus’ quickly spread through the rowdy crowd packed into Butlins’ at Minehead, Somerset.
Security staff were called amid fears that Nathan’s omnipresence was upsetting the concentration of ex-world champ Taylor and his Belgian rival.
The labourer was close to tears as six bouncers removed him from the Cash Converters Players’ Championship which was being shown on ITV4.
As he left a chant of ‘Stand up if you love Jesus’ broke out with many of the boozed-up crowd getting to their feet.
Nathan, 33, was escorted to a nearby bar where the security staff bought him a pint and told him to watch the rest of the final on the telly.
He saw the legendary Taylor win – and then found himself being asked to pose for signed photos with fans as they left the arena.
Blond-haired Nathan, who emigrated from his native Australia to Oxford six years ago, said: “I didn’t go to the darts dressed as Jesus – I went as me.
“It was all very weird and distressing. I didn’t break down crying but I did get emotionally distraught.
“They were bullying me and picking on me, saying that I was someone else.
“It would have been okay if the security hadn’t made a fuss getting me out of the arena.
“I was evicted for something I have no control over. I felt discriminated against.”
Nathan, who began growing his beard four months ago, had booked a three-day stay at Butlins earlier this month with five pals to watch the darts.
He added: “After the tournament ended, I must admit a lot of people went to get autographs and signed photos from me.
“I signed a few pieces of paper – but in my real name, not Jesus.
“In his post-match interview, Phil Taylor said something like ‘if I ever see Jesus again, I’ll crucify him myself.’ Now that’s just hurtful.
“I love darts, but I’m worried about ever going to see it live again, just in case the crowd turns on me like they did last time.”
Dave Allen, spokesman for the Professional Darts Corporation, said Nathan was ejected to prevent his presence becoming a nuisance to the players.
He said: “There was a lot of chanting of Jesus and I think to avoid it becoming too much of a distraction for the players he was taken by security to another part of the complex.
“We want everyone who comes to have a good time and we do not want one fan to become a problem for the players and to possibly affect play.”
He added: “There is plenty of audience participation. They are encouraged to support the players within certain boundaries.
“The fact they can buy four-pint pitchers certainly helps.”
He should sue their asses off .. that’s clearly discrimination
Last time I checked Jesus:
a: wasn’t white
b: wasn’t ginger
c: didn’t have long hair
d: all of the above
But hey, if you get free beer out of the ordeal, why not?
In the 60’s Half the Crowd would’ve been thrown out. =)