A lorry driver managed to trick his wife into believing he was a SAS hero.
Mike Izzard kept up the lie for 15 years and his wife Tracey never discovered the truth – she died of cancer in 2012, still believing he was a war hero.
He told her made-up stories about his miliatry service in the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Iraq, where he claimed he’d been tortured and had his knee-cap blown off, The Telegraph reports.
Izzard, from Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, was finally exposed by a vigilante group known as the Walter Mitty Hunters Club, who spend their time unmasking civilian imposters trying to steal valour from real life soldiers (these fakers are known as ‘Walter Mittys’ in military circles).
He came to the groups attention after posting several pictures online that claimed to show him ‘in action’.
One stolen picture, supposedly of him ‘flying on first HALO jump’, is actually of a real life paratrooper called Lee Crichton. And in another one where he appears to be in uniform, he’s actually wearing a fancy dress beret and holding a BB gun.
Izzard’s stepdaughter Jemma Gyoury told the Sun she grew up believing her stepfather’s lies:
He said he was in the SAS and claimed he had a metal knee. He would say he has seen his mates blown up and he claimed he had been tortured.
Apparently Ms Gyoury, along with her brother, became suspicious when they found a letter addressed to ‘Corporal Izzard’ in some paperwork which purported to be from the SAS base in Hereford.
It listed his ‘service history’, and claimed he was a ‘class 1 sniper’, but the Ministry of Defence confirmed they didn’t have any record of Izzard ever being in the Armed Forces.
Ms Gyoury said:
It doesn’t even have a letterhead. He used to get Mum to open his post. Maybe he posted it to himself so she could open it.
I felt betrayed. It made me think what Mum would have done. It would have been very embarrassing for her. It’s a big thing to lie about.
Izzard is now employed by Jewson tool hire, and he tried to play down the lie when speaking to the Sun, saying: “It started off as a joke in the pub with a bird years ago. I put some pics on Facebook and the next thing I know I’m getting death threats.”
Don’t think anyone’s going to believe that, mate…