Joey Essex has left people shocked by the likeness he shares with his father after uploading a throwback photo onto social media.
The 30-year-old TV personality took to Instagram on Sunday to pay tribute to his dad on Father’s Day.
In his post, Joey published two pictures, one in black and white of his father as a younger man in the boxing ring.
Lookalike: Joey Essex looked the spitting image of his father in a throwback photo of his dad (left) posted on Instagram on Sunday – leaving fans convinced they could be twins
And the second picture was more up to date, and showed Joey walking along a road beside his father.
Captioning the photos, Joey wrote: ‘I wouldn’t be the man I was today without you Dad. Thanks for teaching me respect, manners and to be brave.
‘Happy Father’s Day to all the best dads out there and all the mums being dad.’
Donald Essex, who used to be a boxer, has taken care of both Joey and his sister Frankie on his own since their mother Tina took her own life when Joey was just 10.
Captioning the photos, Joey wrote: ‘I wouldn’t be the man I was today without you Dad. Thanks for teaching me respect, manners and to be brave’
The reaction to Joey’s sweet Father’s Day post was positive, but it left many people amazed at how similar Joey looked to his father during his younger years.
His friend Mark Wright, 34, left a comment saying: ‘How this isn’t you is mad. Twins.’
While others were equally astonished, with one person commenting: ‘ Your dad’s twin. Happy Father’s Day Don x.’
Shocked: The reaction to Joey’s sweet Father’s Day post was positive, but it left many people, including pal Mark Wright, amazed at how similar Joey looked to his father during his younger years
A third said ‘twinning’, while a fourth commented: ‘Absolute double bro.’
Joey’s Father’s Day tribute comes after he candidly discussed the moment his mum Tina took her own life when he was aged 10, and how he has been haunted by her devastating loss ever since.
Speaking on his BBC documentary, Grief And Me, Joey discussed with a therapist how he struggled to believe someone could love him after his mother, Tina, who ‘loved me more than any girl will love me’ left him.
During one tearful moment, he recalled: ‘My mum, she loved me but she left me. I just don’t believe it. I think to myself: “If she loved me that much why would she leave me.” I think I’ll always ask myself, “Why?”‘
‘I’ll never let my mother’s suicide go’: Joey revealed he has struggled to let people in in relationships because he can’t believe a woman could love him after his mother left him when she took her own life when he was 10
Joey admitted that he entered into several relationships knowing they would never progress or pushing people away in order to protect himself.
Joey explained that he hoped by opening up and coming to terms with his grief he may be able to move forward, find someone and start a family.
‘I want to find true happiness, I want to find true love. I’ve been in good relationships and I seem to push that away,’ he said.
‘I think my life has been too painful for that person to be with because I don’t want to put them through what I’ve been through and what I’m going through so I seem to push good relationships away.
Heartbreaking: The former TOWIE star, 30, candidly discussed the moment his mum Tina took her own life when he was aged 10-years-old, and how he has been haunted by her devastating loss ever since (pictured together when Joey was a child)
Joey has had several romances over the years with fellow TOWIE star Sam Faiers, model Amy Willerton, who he met on I’m A Celebrity in 2013, and The Hills star Stephanie Pratt.
‘I don’t trust a lot of people, I just don’t,’ he said. ‘The whole thought of being left alone scares the life out of me because I went through it as a kid and it was just awful.
‘Imagine if I loved someone, had kids with them and I really did love that person and then she left me I wouldn’t know what to do.’
But after turning 30, he stepped back and looked at his life and decided he wanted to ‘stop wasting my own time’ – instead acknowledging he needs to be happy in himself to be able to find a healthy relationship.
Speaking with his cousin Chloe Sims, 38, Joey admitted he struggles to give his heart out to women.
‘That’s not a good way to think because I’m already thinking we’re gonna break up before we’re even together, I’m pushing it away.
‘Now I’ve gone from this party boy life genuinely now I’m like, “woah”, I’ve had this massive kick back, like I actually want a family. How do I make myself happy without that?’
The reality star also spoke about the emotions he had kept buried about his mother, often in the past avoiding speaking openly about her.
Candid: Joey explained that he hoped by opening up and coming to terms with his grief he may be able to move forward, find someone and start a family
‘I just don’t think I’ll ever be able to let it go. I don’t want to let go. I don’t give a s*** about all this life we live and all that. I’d choose her over anything.
‘A lot of people say with this subject “but you don’t know how she felt” and all this and all that but it’s like she got rid of her pain but now look at me.
‘Everything I’ve achieved in life, it’s like who have I got to prove it to? No one. I would throw everything away to spend one hour with her.’
Joey revealed early on in the documentary that he often struggles with feeling lonely in his large Essex home which, when he purchased it five years ago, he expected he would be sharing with someone by now.
He said: ‘I want to find true happiness, I want to find true love. I’ve been in good relationships and I seem to push that away’
‘People just see me as this little Essex boy who is just like living the dream- made all the money in the world and had an easy life, silver spoon in my mouth, but no one really knows what’s going on inside my head,’ he said.
While he shot to popularity on TOWIE, after leaving his job at Billingsate Fish Market, Joey admitted he often felt overwhelmed by his new-found fame all the while still dealing with his grief ten years on – often getting panic attacks.
Touching upon the public perception of him, Joey acknowledged that people only know one side of him.
‘The past seven years no ones really seen me. People don’t really know who I am so sometimes it confuses me because I don’t really know who I am either.’
Honest: Joey admitted he entered into several relationships knowing they would never progress or pushing people away in order to protect himself
During the documentary Joey also came to the realisation he has been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety from a young age.
Recalling his experiences as a teenager, he told his therapist, Dr Stephen Blumenthal, that he used to get extremely hot and run around his house in a panic.
His father later revealed that he would run Joey a cold bath and once he cooled him down he was ‘back to normal again’ but had hoped his son had forgotten the experience as they had never discussed it before.
Joey’s anxiety as a child would also come to the surface in his sleep, when he would often wake up screaming and shouting ‘tell Mummy I love her’ repeatedly.
30: But after turning 30, Joey stepped back and looked at his life and decided he wanted to ‘stop wasting my own time’
He admitted his mother’s death left him ‘torn to pieces’ and he often felt depressed, on several occasions taking himself to hospital convinced there was something wrong with him.
Touching on the moment he was told his mother had died, he said he can remember it ‘like it was yesterday’ because it is ‘a thought that will never go’.
‘Just hearing the words, “Mummy’s gone” was enough,’ he said. ‘I sort of just said to myself it isn’t true, like she’s coming back and I sort of believed that.’
His therapy journey was not always easy, including one instance where he considered giving up on his sessions as he struggled to let Dr Blumenthal in.
Cousins: Speaking with his cousin Chloe Sims, 38, Joey admitted he struggles to give his heart out to women
In an emotional scene, he said: ‘I’ve never took it this serious so I’m finding it difficult. I don’t trust you and I’m getting frustrated I don’t know, I can’t even explain it, its f****** hard man. I just feel trapped. Just sometimes that’s how I feel.’
Wrapping up the final scenes from the emotional programme, Joey admitted he’s not certain what exactly people get out of therapy but felt he had noticed a difference in himself.
‘I know for a fact I will never get over the trauma. I will live with that and that’s the way it is but I’ve started to talk about it, I’ve opened up about it, I can look at pictures I can finally do that which is huge.
‘I’m just proud and I’m glad that I faced it. I can live with it now and just keep moving. I can only take positives out of everything I’ve been through.’
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.
Joey Essex: Grief And Me aired on BBC One at 9pm on June 3 and will be available on BBC Three on iPlayer from 6am.
Closing scenes: Wrapping up the final scenes Joey admitted he’s not certain what exactly people get out of therapy but felt he had noticed a difference in himself