Meet ‘Cheeky Jurgen’ Klopp, football’s most convincing doppelgänger

<p>Spot the difference: Jurgen Klopp (right) and his ‘Kloppelgänger’</p>

Spot the difference: Jurgen Klopp (right) and his ‘Kloppelgänger’


The world is full of celebrity impersonators, some good… some not so much. But one lookalike is so convincing he’s managed to dupe even the most seasoned of professionals.

Enter “Cheeky Jurgen” Klopp.

The Liverpool manager’s doppelgänger hit headlines this week after deceiving Good Morning Britain’s senior news correspondent Jonathan Swain.

Speaking from outside Wembley Stadium after England’s historic Euro 2020 win over Germany, the ITV presenter gushed about “catching up” with Klopp, who he hailed as a “tremendous chap“ and “great sport.”

But poor Swain soon learned that he hadn’t been speaking to the real Reds boss, but a property developer from south-east London – and a Millwall fan.

So who is the man now known admiringly as the “Kloppelgänger” and how has he managed to transform himself into the spitting image of a Premier League icon?

indy100 had a chat with him to find out…

Who is the real ‘Cheeky Jurgen’?

He may look like Klopp’s identical twin, but Cheeky Jurgen is in fact a Greenwich-born grandfather with a penchant for classic cars.

When he’s not celebrating football triumphs atop the shoulders of fellow fans (see below), Ray Cornwell, 61, is the director of a chain of restaurants called Cheeky Chicos and also runs a successful property development company in central London.

He first realised he bore a more than uncanny resemblance to the 54-year-old Liverpool manager around two years ago following comments from various friends.

But it was when his own granddaughter was watching television and asked: “Why is Pappy on the TV?” that he realised it was time to “make something of this”.

How do they look quite so alike?

I’m lucky because I’m exactly the same height and build as Jurgen,” Ray explained, meaning “becoming” Klopp didn’t pose too much of a challenge.

Still, in order to ensure a proper metamorphosis, he realised he’d have to capture the manager’s smile.

“I went to a company called Fangs FX that does teeth for theatre and film. They created exact copies of Jurgen’s teeth for me – a set of clip-on veneers,” he said.

“So now when I smile, you really are seeing Jurgen’s mouth.”

To complete the look, he made a pilgrimage to the Oakley store in Covent Garden to get the exact same glasses as the 54-year-old.

Add some coloured contact lenses and a full Liverpool FC kit and there you have it: transformation complete.

What do fans think?

Some fans tell me I look more like Jurgen than Jurgen does now,” Ray laughed.

“I’ve never had any harassment or anything, people just generally seem to really enjoy it.”

He explained that he visited Anfield for the last game of the season (despite not being a bonafide Liverpool fan), and fans “went turbo mental”.

“I walked through the city centre and people were screaming out their office windows. It was an incredible experience,” he said.

While he was there he didn’t buy a single drink, he added, saying fans “really just want me to be the real Jurgen.”

Indeed, one bystander captured their glee on film, posting the footage on Twitter:

Speaking about his notorious appearance at Tuesday’s England match he said one fan just “spontaneously lifted me up and put me on his shoulders.”

“The crowds were just shouting ‘Jurgen, Jurgen, Jurgen’ – it was amazing.”

Here’s a glimpse of that auspicious celebration:

Has he ever met the real Jurgen Klopp?

Not yet, Ray said, but the rate all the hype is going, we wouldn’t be surprised if a meet-up was soon on the cards.

Asked what he would tell his inspiration, he put on his best German accent and said: “I’m sorry but you are the Kloppelgänger, I am the real one, ya?”

What does he hope to achieve as ‘Cheeky Jurgen’?

The 61-year-old said the main motivation behind his act is to “make people smile” and to have fun.

“Especially when you get kids, they look at you with such amazement,” he said. “I recently met a young boy who had badly broken his leg and was on crutches and I gave him a big hug which absolutely made his day. He was in awe.”

“It’s nice when you can do something like that, when you see happiness and joy on someone’s face, it’s a wonderful feeling.”

Ray admitted that he wouldn’t mind getting some work out of the publicity he’s recently received, “maybe doing some advertising or something”.

He also revealed that some fans had started a social media campaign to get him to appear on the BBC’s ‘Match of the Day’, while others have tipped him to become the next Tottenham manager.

But, whatever comes of it all, “the main thing is to have a good bit of fun.”

“I might need to work on my German accent though,” he admitted.

The Conversation (0)