‘Remember, remember the fifth of November… Gunpowder, er, reason, was it? And something else maybe.’ Ah well, we don’t remember the song all that well, but we know it has something to do with a fella in a hat called Guy Fawkes wanting to blow the Houses of Parliament up. And that’s all we really need to know. Especially for this feature here, where we scour the world of sport for doppelgängers of the 16th Century radical.
Nowadays, of course, the face of Mr. Guido Fawkes is synonymous with the world of hacking, civil protests and cheap plastic white masks. And while Fawkes may well have inspired all those V For Vendetta-y Anonymous face-coverers, he also – no doubt, – inspired the look of these five sporting stars…
1. Mats Hummels
Ah, Mats Hummels. Lovely, lovely Mats Hummels. If a better-looking footballer has ever kicked (or, in Mats’ case, expertly tracked and headed away) a ball, we’ve never seen him. Vaguely embarrassing man crushes aside a wee bit, few sports stars rock the Fawkesian goatee beard in quite the same dashing way that the German centre back does. Guy Fawkes may have been publicly executed for his part in the attempted regicide of 1605, but were he to try something similar, we guess the charming figure of Mats Hummels would barely get a slap on his – no doubt fragrant – wrist.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Long hair? Check. Weird little beard? Check. Arrogant enough to believe that he’s destined to be the one man responsible for causing a revolution in England? Check. In fact, rather than just looking a bit like Guy Fawkes, Swedish strike legend Zlatan pretty much is Guy Fawkes. Albeit the ex-PSG man has a better goalscoring record. Mind you, Zlatan could well be destined to follow in Fawkes’ footsteps to the gallows should his goals to game ratio at Manchester United not improve (metaphorically, we mean – we don’t think United fans will actually kill him).
3. Anthony Hamilton
He’s got the most famous goatee in snooker. Okay, that’s not really the biggest claim to fame that a man can have.. But still. Snooker’s Anthony Hamilton makes it on to our list by way of his expertly-groomed and maintained facial hair. Is he vehemently Republican? We’re not sure, it’s never come up in any interview with Hazel Irvine if he does despise the monarchy. Anyway, while we may think that Hamilton looks like Guy Fawkes, the world of cue sports think he looks like another renegade man of history… His nickname is ‘The Sheriff of Pottingham’. Easily the best sporting alias ever, that. Well done, snooker.
4. Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo is an icon. A hero. A legend. The man is nothing short of a god. People worship him and to draw attention away from his football holiness is a risky thing to do. Comparing him to someone else is enough to make football hipsters form an angry mob and storm Rileys HQ, so we’ll tread with caution. We’re sure than Guy Fawkes’ ‘football brain’ and range of passing were vastly inferior to Pirlo’s. And, unlike with Pirlo, we’re fairly certain that it’s possible to have a party without Fawkes in attendance. But c’mon, you’ve got to admit that there is a resemblance…
5. Alexi Lalas
Now, bear with us on this one, alright? You’ve got to be willingly a little colour blind for this entry. It’s USA cult hero Alexi Lalas. The ex-Padova defender achieved worldwide fame twenty two years ago now, at World Cup ’94. His distinctive long red hair and System of a Downesque beard certainly didn’t go unnoticed. He’s lost the barnet and face fuzz now and works as a pundit for American television. But in his pomp? He was very much a flame-haired American version of our November 5th antihero. What? He was. Don’t be so gingerist.