A young vicar who calls himself “The Bush” because of his gigantic afro hairdo has been left red-faced because parishioners keep mistaking him – for footballer Marouane Fellaini.
Reverend Simon Rose, 26, became the youngest religious minister in his home town of Nottingham when he joined the church in September.
And since then says he can’t go anywhere without being mistaken for the Manchester United midfielder.
On a recent visit to Old Trafford with a friend he was even singled out by sections of the crowd who started singing: “There’s only one Marouane Fellaini.”
But the good-humoured minister says he takes it all in his stride and doesn’t mind the comparison to the Belgian star.
Rev Rose, from from Ruddington, Notts., said: “I can’t go anywhere now without two or three people shouting Fellaini at me.
“Although I’m a Nottingham Forest fan I went to watch Man United against West Ham last month – half the crowd were singing ‘Fellaini, give us a wave.’ and ‘there’s only one Marouane Fellaini’.
“I’ve been called The Bush since school because my hair has always been like this – but now it’s just constant Fellaini comparisons.
“Some people have really had to double-take because they think I’m actually him.
“But I’m far from being a red-devil, that’s for sure.
“It’s a bit embarrassing but I take it in good humour all the time – you have to really.
“I do enjoy playing football but I’m not very good.
“I wouldn’t mind having his talents but for now I’m quite happy in my job as a minister.”
Rev Rose is one of only 18 Methodist ministers under the age of 30 nationally out of 2,185.
The married vicar, whose Twitter name is Simonrosebush, said he found his calling from God while studying business management at the University of Nottingham.
After graduating in 2008, he decided to become a local preacher before training to become a fully-qualified Methodist minister.
Rev Rose added: “Some people are surprised by my age but I think people are getting used to it now.
“When I was carol singing in Bradmore in December, someone asked me whose son I was and I said ‘I am actually the new minister’.
“They apologised quite quickly and we had a bit of a laugh.”
Churchgoer Derek Hickman, 67, said the new minister had been welcomed warmly into the community.
He said: “His hair makes him stand out and it really is part of his fantastic personality.
“There has been a few Fellaini references, which he doesn’t seem to mind. My son thought it was him to start with.”
Janet Clark, 73, has been a member of Ruddington Methodist Church for 14 years.
She said: “Reverend Rose is a breath of fresh air; he is very humorous and has brought love and laughter to our services.
“Everyone loves him. His hair was a bit of a shock.
“It makes him really recognisable and although it singles him out, it is part of his personality.”