A Worthing worker became an internet sensation last night as namesake Joe Clarke secured a gold medal for Team GB in Rio.
The 23-year-old became the second Briton to claim gold at the Olympics, in Brazil, but while he was celebrating victory in the men’s K1 canoe slalom, a local man took some of the plaudits.
Horsham resident Joe Clarke, who works in Worthing, was mistaken for the Team GB man on Twitter by a large number of people due to his handle @joeclarke.
He was bombarded with messages of support on the social media website and even had a good luck message from four-time Olympic gold medallist Matthew Pinsent.
He wrote: “Wind picking up - just get down and in the final @joeclarke! - 15mins till the off!”
Clarke (Horsham), who eventually embraced his new found fame, replied: “Well, while I am flattered as I feel like a celebrity, I think I’m the wrong (but original) Joe Clarke. #honoured #legend.”
A slightly red-faced Pinsent joked back: “And apologies to the other @joeclarke who was given a slightly surprising last minute twitter call up for Rio.”
Clarke, who was just starting a night shift in Worthing, continued to receive tweets throughout the night - even though he pointed out that he couldn’t even swim.
As his timeline grew even-more popular, he added: “Guys, thank you for all of the congratulations however I am currently sitting ready to start my night shift in Worthing #mistakenidentity.
“It’s getting close now. I hope I get Gold. #excited staff room at work is buzzing. #nightshift.”