Published: 10:00, 15 May 2014
A man was stunned by a photo taken more than 60 years before he was born – and saw his own face staring straight back at him.
Steve Cross, of Turner Road, Bean, was sent the old photograph by a friend.
The grandfather-of-four, who works in security at Gatwick Airport, is convinced the man in the picture could be his twin.
He said: "They say everyone has a doppelganger and I've found mine.
"I went down to Asda in Greenhithe and got a copy of it for a couple of pence and I went home to the wife and said 'who's that?'
"I showed it to a few people and they all said 'that's definitely you' and my grandchildren said it was me dressed up."
After an internet search, Mr Cross - a former London firefighter of 25 years - discovered the photo had been taken at least 120 years previously.
Intrigued by the image, Mr Cross sought out Pete Bresser, 55, who runs Bresser Photography and Digital Media in Drudgeon Way, Bean.
He asked him to photograph him just like his twin had appeared in the Victorian image of mute mourners and create a montage of him standing alongside.
Mr Bresser, a father-of-two said: "It's not the first time I've been asked to bring people together, but usually it's to close a gap in the wedding party when taking the formal group shot.
"When he saw it, he said he couldn't believe his eyes - it was like he was looking back at himself."
With Mr Cross dressed like his doppelganger - complete with homemade pointed hat, sash and funereal staff, made from a rake - Mr Bresser placed Mr Cross against a white screen and photographed in colour.
The image was edited, turned to sepia and sized to match the lower resolution image of the Victorian professional mute mourner.
The main purpose of a funeral mute was to stand around at funerals with a sad face.
Blending them together meant matching the two subjects close together and creating a new background to make it as seamless as possible.
Mr Cross - who has appeared on The Weakest Link, Man O Man, Surprise, Surprise, and has also been a model - added: "It came out brilliant. I've shown all my friends and family and I've got a couple of T-shirts done too."
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