Death seems to be a factor in stories of unchecked facts. While certainly not on the level of the Manti Te’o scandal, catfish, conspiracy, or whatever you want to call it, this little gem came out of The Independent:
REPORTS of the death of Congleton Town’s oldest supporter, 85-year-old former ambulance man Fred Cope, turned out to be exaggerated. Chris Phillips, the HFS Loans club’s programme editor, was just about to hand out the programmes for the game with Rossendale last Saturday when ‘the secretary informed me that Fred had died. So I wrote off an obituary, stapled it into the programme and informed the referee that we needed a minute’s silence.’
Just as the players were about to ring the centre-circle, Fred ambled into the ground. ‘I had to announce on the Tannoy that the minute’s silence would be to honour Bobby Moore,’ Phillips added. ‘Fred said he wasn’t quite ready to go yet.’ The man himself said he ‘had a few funny looks’ when he arrived at Booth Street. ‘It wasn’t until I saw the programme that I realised why. I’ve been bad over the last week – but not that bad.’ The day then went well: a relieved Congleton won 6-1 and, according to Phillips, ‘Fred not only came back from he dead – he won pounds 10 in the half-time raffle’.
Has an unchecked fact ever gotten by you?