NON-LEAGUE journeyman Mat Mitchel-King combined battling in England’s lower-divisions with modelling for a Manchester United legend.
The defender acted as a body-double for one star alongside playing on muddy pitches on the weekends for the likes of Histon and Hemel Hempstead.
Mitchel-King played as high as League 2 during his career but failed to replicate the success of the man he stood in for during photo shoots.
The glamorous body-double job also saw Mitchel-King appear in Nike adverts alongside football icons such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The role allowed him to meet his heroes, but at one stage he had to give up the life of stardom to play football.
Mitchel-King, now 39, performed the role of body double for none other than six-times Premier League winner Rio Ferdinand.
The non-league star was required to stand in for the former England captain during his long commercial commitments when the star could not spend several hours on set.
As a body-double, he filled in when long shots were required or directors needed someone of Ferdinand’s height and build present for framing.
Mitchel-King said he enjoyed the contrast it provided to life in non-league.
He previously told the BBC: “Modelling has allowed me to travel all over the world and meet some of my heroes at the same time.
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“But I love my football too. I captained Histon to the third round of the FA Cup in 2008-09 when we beat Swindon and Leeds before losing to Swansea.”
He added: “People get confused and think you have to look exactly the same. You don’t.
“I did all the stuff from a distance and they filmed Rio for the close up stuff. If there is a six-day shoot lasting 12 hours a day, there’s no way a player can be there that long.
“I’ve met Rio. When I played for Crewe I lived in Cheshire and would see him out and about. He’d always acknowledge me.
“You have to be professional on set. You don’t ask them for autographs or selfies. It’s a strict no-no.”
Mitchel-King had to quit his modelling work for four years when he began playing in the EFL for Crewe and AFC Wimbledon between 2009 and 2013.
But he returned to the job when he was back in non-league with Dartford in 2013.
In contrast to Mitchel-King’s career, Ferdinand played most of his career at the top level.
After emerging at West Ham, he went on to win ten major trophies for United including the 2008 Champions League.