Bearded Nathan Grindal, 33, was enjoying the match between star champ Phil Taylor and Kim Huybrechts when some of the 4,500-strong audience spotted his likeness to the son of God.
Chants of “Jesus” quickly spread through the rowdy crowd, interrupting play at Butlins in Minehead, Somerset. Security was called before six bouncers escorted upset Nathan from the Cash Converters Players’ Championship, being shown on ITV4.
As he left a chant of ‘Stand up if you love Jesus’ broke out, with many of the boozed-up crowd getting to their feet. Nathan, a labourer, was escorted to a nearby bar where security staff bought him a pint and told him to watch the rest of the final on the telly.
He saw the legendary Taylor win then found himself being asked to pose for signed photos with fans as they left the arena. Nathan, who emigrated from his native Australia to Oxford six years ago, said: “I didn’t go to the darts dressed as Jesus – I went as me. It was all very weird and distressing. I didn’t break down crying but I did get emotionally distraught. They were bullying me and picking on me, saying that I was someone else. It would have been okay if the security hadn’t made a fuss getting me out of the arena.”
Nathan, who began growing his beard four months ago, had booked a three-day stay at Butlins earlier this month with five pals to watch the darts.
He added: “In his post-match interview, Phil Taylor said something like ‘if I ever see Jesus again, I’ll crucify him myself.’ Now that’s just hurtful. I love darts, but I’m worried about ever going to see it live again, just in case the crowd turns on me like they did last time.”
Dave Allen, spokesman for the Professional Darts Corporation, said Nathan was ejected to prevent his presence becoming a nuisance to the players.
He said: “There was a lot of chanting of Jesus and I think to avoid it becoming too much of a distraction for the players he was taken by security to another part of the complex. There is plenty of audience participation. They are encouraged to support the players within certain boundaries. The fact they can buy four-pint pitchers certainly helps.”