Rovers fan creates an overnight sensation in Chile after Ben Brereton’s facial tattoo goes viral
A tattoo-crazed football fan had Ben Brereton’s face inked on his stomach, making him an overnight sensation in Chile.
Lewis Hamill, who lives in Oswaldtwistle, had the Blackburn Rovers and Chilean international footballer face tattoos on his stomach at the Artemis Tattoo Studio in Manchester on Saturday.
And after posting a photo of his new body art on social media, the 26-year-old has gone viral in South America and has been inundated with requests to appear on Chilean TV and local newspapers.
Mr Hamill was even invited by a Chilean television production company, which is in the UK to film a documentary about the Rovers striker, to meet them on Tuesday at the club’s training camp in Brockhall Village.
Here they interviewed the father of two and then made him wait three hours in the cold for the soccer star to appear so he could sign his stomach.
Mr Hamill said: “I am originally from Blackburn but now live in Oswaldtwistle with my fiancee and two children.
“I had a season pass for the Rovers when I was younger, and still watch the games, but I wouldn’t say I was a big fan anymore – life bothers me.
“My buddy who runs the tattoo studio owed me a favor so I decided to put Brereton’s face on my stomach, I wasn’t going to have the can of Pepsi done originally but I just thought, why not, that would be a laugh.
“I have the Kray twins on the other side of my belly and because Brereton has the flat cap on this one, he fits in well with the others.”
Mr Hamill said a friend then posted an image of his tattoo on a Rovers fan page and was quickly contacted by a Ben Brereton fan page in Chile.
He said: “Within an hour, people in Chile posted that I was now an Honorary Chilean and people said how much they loved me.
“And then I was contacted by this production company who asked me to go to Brockhall Village and meet them on Tuesday.
“I was interviewed by CNN in Chile then TNT Sports, and Pepsi also commented. It’s crazy.”
Ben Brereton, or Brereton-Diaz as he is now officially known, became somewhat of a sporting hero in the South American country after qualifying to play for the Chilean international team earlier this year thanks to his mother, who has Chilean roots.
Mr Hamill, whose partner Jess Macneal is not a fan of tattoos, has two full legs and half of his back inked, and said Brereton’s artwork would normally have cost him around £ 450.
He added: “When Brereton signed it for me on Tuesday, he said he had seen a photo of it online before, but then asked, ‘Why did you do this?’ and I just laughed.
“Now I want to be the mascot for the Rovers (or Chile, or both) and step onto the pitch holding the hand of a team member.
“It would be embarrassing, but it would be so much fun, so if anyone can make it happen, I’m open to offers.”