'Martin from Wakefield' TV mix-up

23 January 2019
A mix-up which saw Martin House chief executive Martin Warhurst mistaken for the new Huddersfield Town manager on live TV has given the hospice a huge publicity boost.

Martin was attending Huddersfield’s match against Manchester City, when a Sky Sports reporter approached him to ask if he was Jan Siewart, who was being touted as the club’s new manager.

The case of mistaken identity and Martin’s reply – “No, I’m Martin from Wakefield” – has led to a whirlwind of media appearances, with nearly interviews for TV and radio stations, including BBC 5Live, BBC World Service, Sky News, Radio Leeds, Look North and Calendar.

Huddersfield Town also invited Martin to star in a video revealing Jan as their new manager, which has had more than 1.6 million views, while the hashtags #MartinFromWakefield and #NotMartinFromWakefield trended on Twitter.

Martin said: “It’s been a strange few days, but it’s given me an amazing opportunity to talk about Martin House and the care we give to families in this region.”

Martin was sat in the director’s box when he was approached by the reporter: “He said, ‘Are you Jan, the new manager?’ I laughed and said, ‘No, no, that’s not me. I’m Martin from Wakefield’.

“It was absolutely bizarre. I thought the guy who came over to me asking if I was Jan was going to say something like, ‘Excuse me, sir, but you’re sat in the wrong seat’. I had to double take when he asked me if I was Jan.

“That was all I heard of it and then suddenly everybody’s phones and my phone started going crazy, saying, ‘I’ve just seen you on telly’.

“There was lots of reaction from people in the crowd - just people coming up and having selfies and people patting me on the back and wishing me luck.”

All the publicity around the mix-up has also led to a flood of donations from people around the country – and even some from as far as the USA.

Martin added: “It costs £8 million a year to run Martin House, so every penny we raise makes a real difference to children and their families. Thank you to everyone who has donated.”