Madrid mob turn on ITV's 'Wolfgang Stark lookalike' Townsend

April 30, 2011 - 0:0

Andy Townsend has told how he was threatened in a Madrid restaurant after irate Real fans mistook him for Champions League referee Wolfgang Stark.

The Sportsmail columnist said he feared an attack from fans ‘baying for blood’ while enjoying a post-match meal in the city with Adrian Chiles and ITV bosses.
The ex-Chelsea and Aston Villa player put the blame for such behaviour firmly at the feet of Jose Mourinho, who he says had whipped the Real fans into a frenzy with his vitriolic press conference after the game.
Townsend said: ‘I went into a restaurant and was eating when I noticed people looking at me. Some of them started taking pictures and then someone came and gave me a pot plant, saying, “This is for you” with a funny look on his face.
‘There were 10 of us around the table thinking, ‘‘What is going on here?’’ When I stood up I got booed and when I went to the loo I got followed there and back. A waiter escorted me to my seat... I didn’t know why!
‘Then people came up to me, talking aggressively in Spanish and there was a man shouting at me from the other side of the restaurant. It was all getting out of control.
‘Then it dawned on me. Because I still had my UEFA accreditation around my neck they thought I was the referee. To them I was Wolfgang Stark! So I had to turn around and tell them I was from English television.’
The incident brought laughter from ITV anchor Chiles but for Townsend there is a serious lesson.
‘Adrian’s started calling me Wolfie,’ he said. ‘But actually there’s a sinister edge to it. The crowd were baying for the referee’s blood.
‘They totally saw the referee as the villain of the piece. That’s how Mourinho whips up a frenzy. As ITV were going off air there was actually a fight going on in front of me in the stadium — two men were exchanging blows. And these were the decent seats.
‘I witnessed first-hand the effect Mourinho has on fans. I wouldn’t want to see him back in England.’
(Source: DailyMail)
Caption: Madrid mob turn on ITV's 'Wolfgang Stark lookalike' Townsend