A Jesus lookalike has been banned from making a second coming at a darts competition – over fears his biblical resemblance would disrupt play.
Bearded Nathan Grindal was kicked out of the Cash Converters Players’ Championship last year when the crowd started chanting he was a dead ringer for the Son of God.
Their chants put Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor off his game and Nathan, 34, was asked to leave the boozy event at Butlins in Minehead, Somerset.
Arrows fanatic Nathan keeps his beard long to protect his neck from the cold and hide scars, after he successfully battled skin cancer twice.
He splashed out £450 on a return trip to see this year’s tournament with three pals, hoping last year’s incident had been forgotten.
But when he tried to collect some tickets from the office at the budget holiday camp he was escorted into a manager’s office – where he was told he wasn’t welcome and would have to leave immediately.
Aussie Nathan’s blond locks and scraggly beard made him a hit at the event last year, but this year’s security refused to let him watch his favourite sport which was being televised on ITV4.
Electrician Nathan said: ‘Two big beef-head security guards, including the head of security, dragged me into the office where they told me they wouldn’t let me watch the darts this year.
‘I felt quite intimidated. The head of security told me they would not be letting me into the tournament, because they did not want a repeat of last year.
‘It’s not my fault that I look like Jesus.’
Long-haired Nathan was enjoying last December’s televised final between Taylor and Kim Huybrechts at the same venue when the audience spotted his likeness to the Messiah.
As chants of “Jesus” spread through the crowd security staff were called amid fears that his omnipresence was upsetting the players’ concentration.
Mild-mannered Nathan was close to tears as he was led out to chants of ‘Stand up if you love Jesus’.
Since last December’s debacle Nathan has been to at least six darts events including the World Championships in London without incident, and did not think he would get singled out as a troublemaker again at the three-day Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) showcase at Butlins.
But after driving down from his Oxford home on Friday he was stopped at reception and told to pack his bags and leave by 2pm.
Gutted Nathan said: “I’ve been to several tournaments this year without any problems with either the crowds or getting in.
“I booked the tickets back in February in my own name and nobody said there was a problem, and I even managed to get some VIP tickets sorted.
â€œWe checked in, had a couple of beers with our breakfast, and then decided to go and collect the VIP tickets.
“When I got there a lady at the counter asked if I was the Jesus bloke who came to the darts.
‘She told me she was there last year, and thought it was hilarious, especially when a bloke in a wheelchair stood up and walked in front of me.
‘Up until this point, nobody had recognised me at all.
“I couldn’t believe it they kicked me out. I didn’t do anything wrong.
‘I’m not trying to look like Jesus, I’m not even religious – I’m just an average Joe. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Butlins offered Nathan a full refund but said officials at the Professional Darts Corporation agreed he wasn’t allowed in.
Angry Nathan wants proper compensation for missing two days of work and splashing out for tickets and petrol.
He said: ‘We had had a couple of drinks with our late breakfast, so I wasn’t okay to drive.
‘Security wanted me to leave as soon as possible, but obviously I didn’t want to drink and drive.
‘They made me sit in my apartment like a dog for four hours until I was certain the two beers I had had gone out of my system.
‘They were guarding my door. I felt like a criminal, and very intimidated.
‘At the end of the day, I’m an adult and I feel they could have dealt with the situation a lot better.
“I’m being discriminated against because I look like the Son of God. It’s really distressing.
‘I love darts ” I told them I” d cut my hair and shave my beard to watch it, but they told me I was barred.
If I’d known that they wouldn’t let me in, I wouldn’t have gone.
‘Their decision seemed so abrupt and final that they could have told me in advance.
‘I wouldn’t be happy, but it would be better than me trekking more than three hours to Butlins.’
A Butlins spokesman said: “At last year’s PDC Darts weekend at Butlins Minehead, Mr Grindal was ejected from the resort for causing disruption to the organisers, players and other guests on the break.
“This weekend, based on his disruptive behaviour last year, both Butlins and PDC Darts, the organisers, have taken the decision not to allow Mr Grindal onto the resort.”
PDC refused to comment.
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