568 times. Five hundred sixty-eight times the British exhibitionist Mark Roberts publicly went out of his clothes during some big sporting event. The palmares of the most famous streaker in the world is impressive. For example, he ran the field without any clothes during the Champions League final of 2002, the men’s finals at Wimbledon in 2002, the Super Bowl and the Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018. The 54-year-old Brit, despite the supplication, wants his streak pension of his three children, moreover, do not think so.
Mark Roberts lives with his family in Sefton Park, Liverpool. In daily life he is a painter and plasterer. But when he goes to a sporting event, Roberts leaves his tassels at home. And his clothes too. Already 568 times he ran during his 25-year ‘career’ – that’s what the Brit calls himself – naked across a field or through a hall. He already did this in 24 different countries and ‘only’ 25 he was arrested according to his own statements.
“I am a real entertainer,” the Brit said in a conversation with Sky Sports. “I like to make people laugh and I succeed very often. I immediately think back to one moment. During the 2016 Winter Games I stepped on the ice during the curling competition with a rubber chicken around my waist to cover my precious parts. The audience was in a dent, just like the athletes on the ice. That’s what I do it for. I like to make a performance of it, just running and waving in my face, I do not like it.”
Roberts’ first performance dates back to 1993 when he scared the spectators during the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. “That was then the most liberating experience of my life”, the streaker looks back. “I felt pure happiness when I stood naked for about 65,000 people, mainly because I realized that I had the guts to do that. And the reactions I get from the audience make my performances always worthwhile. That is why I still do it after 25 years.” The Briton tries to play it ‘clean’ according to his own words. He will never enter a field if a match is in progress, only during game breaks. “Those athletes work for years to be in a final. I will not ruin that moment for them.”
Children begged to stop
Roberts has been engaged to a Suzi for several years. According to the Brit, she sees no bones in his special performances. “She knew my hobby when she agreed to marry me. But my children had a harder time with it,” says Roberts. “When they were teenagers and saw me running naked across a field on television, they begged to cut it. Our friends see you too,” they said. “And what do they think?” I asked and the answer was that they actually thought it was great. “So, I saw no reason to stop. Now my children (aged 30, 25 and 21 years old, ed.) Are older and they think they are great too.”
In recent years Roberts chose to cover up his noble parts invariably, something he did not do at the beginning of his adventure. “Nowadays what I do is sometimes less accepted”, says Roberts, who indicates that his relationships have never suffered from his special hobby. And he also contributes financially. After a few successful performances, the painter closed some nice sponsorship deals. For example, the gaming platform Golden Palace paid him in 2003 to streak during the UEFA Cup final between Celtic and FC Porto in Seville. The only condition was that Roberts would write the name of the company on his body.
Also, in 2004 Golden Palace paid Roberts for the perhaps most difficult streak of his life, during the Super Bowl. The Briton prepared his act the presence for a year and drew, among other things, a referee’s wobble to put the security in Texas in the luren. Together with a friend he was able to get tickets for the first row in the Reliant Stadium and during a game break he ran into the field. He took off his clothes, was quickly worked against the plain by one of the American Football wardrobes and then the security led him away. Roberts only left a hefty fine on his adventure in the United States. During his 25 years as a streaker he appeared eleven times in court and ‘only’ three times followed and condemnation. That was the case, among other things, after he was on the field during the FA Cup final between Liverpool and Arsenal in 2001.
“Usually I am held by the police for one to two hours and I can have no penalty,” says Roberts. “That’s because I do not disrupt public order or take care of panic. I just make people laugh and am amused myself.” More recently, the British popped up during the last 100m race of Usain Bolt and the skating competition at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The intention was to also pop up during the final of the World Cup of 2018 between France and Croatia, but that plan fell apart.
“I might have thought of keeping my last performance there. I could also get tickets for the match, but I forgot to arrange a visa in time. That was bales. I do not know yet what my next event will be, but I do not think I’ll ever stop. I have noted in my will that I want to be buried naked in a transparent box. That way I can strive at my own funeral.”