Working in Malaga a few weeks ago I met an English teacher and school director named Salvador Ortiz who told me a very funny story that I think is worth sharing.

Almost ten years ago Salvador taught English using an OUP series called Best Friends. In the series, there was a story with a character called Mr. Crumble. The more Salvador worked with the book and the more stories he read, the more he realized that his life and Mr. Crumble’s life had a lot in common. In fact, there were so many coincidences that Salvador (with the help of the OUP research consultant at the time, Robert Quinn) got in touch with the authors of the series and, more importantly, with the authors of the stories, Jackie Holderness and Wendy Superfine. Salvador ended up visiting the UK where Jackie had him over for tea and showed him around town. Ten years later Jackie and Salvador still keep in touch and, as Salvador says, they are “best friends” thanks to Best Friends.

Here are some of the parallels between Mr. Crumble’s life and Salvador’s life:

Mr. Crumble’s life (character by Jackie Holderness and Wendy Superfine who had never met Salvador) Salvador Ortiz’s life (he had never met the authors of the story or visited England when he read the stories)
–          Mr. Crumble is a teacher

–          Mr. Crumble likes visiting castles

–          Mr. Crumble loves football

–          Mr. Crumble sings in a band

–          Mr. Crumble loves going to the mountains

–          Mr. Crumble broke his leg in one of the stories

And the most amazing:

–          Mr. Crumble’s birthday is June 3rd

–          Mr. Crumble lived at 9 London Road

–          The authors of Best Friends told Salvador that Mr. Crumble would have become the headmaster at the school he worked at if the story had continued

–          Salvador is a teacher

–          Salvador likes visiting castles

–          Salvador loves football

–          Salvador sings in a band

–          Salvador also loves going to the mountains

–          Six days after reading the story, Salvador injured his leg playing football

And the most amazing:

–          Salvador’s birthday is June 3rd

–          Salvador lives at Calle Londres 9


–          Salvador was also promoted and is now the headmaster of his school

best friends

Salvador and his class could not believe how much the story character and their teacher had in common. They were anxious to get the new books each year to see what was in store for their teacher.

Click here to see the letter Salvador sent to the authors in 2006 describing the coincidences between his life and Mr. Crumble’s lives.

So, it is clear that fiction and reality can sometimes be hauntingly similar! Many thanks to Salvador for sharing this interesting anecdote with us!


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