A copycat Doncaster clown who said he had the backing of the police to roam the streets has been unmasked - by himself.
Facebook user Richard Steven Vallance took to social media to reveal himself as Donny Klown, an impostor clown set up in the wake of the original Doncaster Clown character which is still at large and whose exploits have become an internet sensation.
The Donny Klown account - featuring a profile picture of a man wearing a sinister clown mask in the Frenchgate Centre - was established hot on the heels of the original Doncaster Clown, who now has nearly 4,500 likes.
But the Klown account has now been deleted and Mr Vallance took to Facebook to isuse a statement and reveal that he was behind the copycat clown.
He said: “Yes, we all know I was Donny, but who cares it was all for fun.”
“Not only did Donny have the b**** to take a selfie in the Frenchgate Centre but he has managed to photograph himself at various locations around Doncaster town centre which took b**** of steel.
“Donny never scared anyone and one day Donny would like to come back just once...to tell everyone his side.
“Donny never threatened anyone, he made hundreds upon hundreds of friends in the space of a day. Donny brought out the good in me and the good in others too.”
Mr Vallance, who has previously announced plans to run for Mayor of Doncaster, said he learned “valuable lesons” and added: “Nobody could accept Donny for what he is. He was always the class clown. There is a little Donny in all of us...indeed we all have an inner clown.”
Earlier, in a series of Facebook posts, the character had said he had been given the backing of South Yorkshire Police as the stunt was in aid of a “good cause” and that anyone found threatening Donny Klown would be “arrested.”
The original Doncaster Clown Facebook page was set up last week and is not connected.
That character announced it was returning to the streets of Doncaster on Friday after a three year absence.
The original Doncaster Clown has been updating fans with updates of its appearances, having claimed to be in Rossington on Friday and Stainforth on Saturday.
The creepy character has said it just wants “hugs” and scores of people have thrown down challenges for the clown to visit their village.
However, other Facebook users have threatened the clown with violence and attacks if it comes to their street.
South Yorkshire Police has declined to comment on the Donny Klown Facebook page, which has now been deactivated.
Meanwhile, the original Doncaster Clown has indicated a return to the streets after a quiet few days, posting earlier: “There’s only one Donny Clown and that’s me.
“I’m coming back out to play on Friday and Saturday nights and I’m looking at either Armthorpe, Balby, Askern or Dunscroft. Where do you want me?”