'Are you who I think you are?' - We track down 'Bono' spotted in Sheffield bar
Was Bono spotted in a Sheffield bar?
It is a question many readers have been asking this morning after a picture emerged last night of a man bearing the U2 frontman’s resemblance dressed all in black and wearing his trademark sunglasses while enjoying a drink at the Head of Steam pub.
The claim was given more credence when it emerged that Bono’s son Elijah Hewson was also in the city last night playing a gig at the 02 Academy with his band Inhaler.
It has since emerged that, in fact, the Dublin rocker was not in the Steel City last night.
However, we have tracked down the man in the picture, and it turns out he works in his spare time as an impersonator of the man himself.
By day Arbourthorne man Tony Jonson works as a driver delivering vehicle parts to garages.
But by night the 58-year-old, who is just 11 months younger than Bono, transforms himself into the rock star.
And the pair have actually met.
Tony said: “I met Bono and the drummer Larry Mullen Jr. outside a gig in Dublin a few years ago.
“I always try and wear the same clothes as what he wears on their latest tour so I had the glasses and jacket on.
“I asked him to sign a CD and he said that he liked my jacket and that he had seen one of them somewhere else!”
Tony was at the 02 to see Elijah’s band Inhaler and revealed he was inundated with requests for pictures from fans.
"I must have had my picture taken with about 50 people.
“It is funny because people come up to me and usually say ‘Are you who I think you are?’, and when I tell them no in my Sheffield accent – because I don’t put on an Irish voice – then they still don’t believe me!”
He added: “It was the third time I have seen Inhaler and they are a good band in their own right.
”I have met Elijah before and he just did a double take and said I was doing a good job.
“I’ve also met Noel Gallagher after a gig in Leeds. He’s good mates with Bono and he couldn’t believe it either.”
Tony’s double life as the rock star all started when he was on holiday over a decade ago.
He explains: “I was in Egypt by the pool with my sunglasses on and someone asked if they could have their picture taken with me.
“I didn’t know what they were on about at first and then they just said I look like Bono and should sign up with an agency.
“Then there were loads of people wanting pictures with me!”
He has spent the last decade or so moonlighting under the name Just Bono UK making surprise appearances at birthday parties, anniversaries and other special occasions.
Tony also sang in a tribute act called Rattle and Hum, named after one of U2’s most famous albums, and once performed at a music festival in front of about 6000 fans in Holland.
The move has also brought him plenty of attention at work.
He said: “When I’m making deliveries at garages and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ comes on the radio, they all shout up ‘Go on then, sing your bit’, so it’s great to have a bit of banter.”
Tony has seen U2 12 times around the world including in America, the Republic of Ireland and several times in the UK.
He counts ‘Vertigo’ and ‘One’ as being among his most favourite songs, and added: “I’m obviously a huge fan and being a lookalike too just adds to the fun.”