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Gillingham surveyor becomes USA celebrity after Twitter mix-up

By Chris Hunter

"There's only one Dee Ford"?

Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and former Auburn Tigers American footballer Dee Ford should think twice about singing that refrain - because there's two of them about.

And while one is the 6ft 2ins 17-stone National Football League linebacker, the other is a surveyor from Gillingham, whose vital statistics aren't available on the internet, but is definitely somewhat smaller.

Dee Ford gets up close with the Auburn golden eagle mascot while guest of honour at an American football match
Dee Ford gets up close with the Auburn golden eagle mascot while guest of honour at an American football match

In short, you’d be hard-pushed to mistake them in real life, but thanks to confusion on Twitter both Dee Fords are now celebrities in the US, with the Gillingham version last month enjoying star treatment courtesy of Auburn Tigers, and various US news channels.

It all started back in 2014 when the two Dee Fords found themselves sharing almost identical Twitter addresses - and hilarity ensued.

Things got even more confusing when the then athletics director of Auburn Tigers tweeted some congratulations to Dee for "his" performance.

“The whole of Auburn decided that I must be that football player,” Dee told sport channel ESPN.

Dee appeared on numerous TV and radio shows during her trip to Auburn
Dee appeared on numerous TV and radio shows during her trip to Auburn

“I had no idea what anyone was talking about

“I couldn’t win the arguments. Nobody believed I wasn’t him and I had no idea where Auburn was.”

Although she was initially annoyed, Dee - who owns Michael Parkes Surveyors on the Medway City Estate - soon embraced the situation and joined in the fun, which has continued to this day.

Only recently @Chiefsfan007 tweeted “Gonna need a big game from you @dee_ford you with Houston on the other side is unstoppable."

The sports star Dee Ford
The sports star Dee Ford

To which Dee replied “I’m powered by wine. We’re safe.”

That’s nothing unusual for Dee but last month’s trip has been far from normal - when Dee finally took up an invitation from Auburn Tigers to visit the Alabama town.

“It was amazing,” said Dee.

“They talk about the Auburn family and how they welcome everyone - I was given tickets in a private box for a game, I was shown around the university. I was welcomed with open arms.

“It was crazy. I had TV cameras following me for two days. It was strange but I did enjoy it."

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