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It's Four Years Since A Dublin Football Club Faked The Death Of Its Own Player

It's Four Years Since A Dublin Football Club Faked The Death Of Its Own Player
By Balls Team Updated
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On this day in 2018, one of the great sporting hoaxes of recent memory reached the public domain, as it spectacularly unraveled. Ballybrack FC had informed the Leinster Senior League that it needed match against Arklow Town cancelled because of the death of player Fernando Lafuente Saiz in a traffic accident.

However Saiz was very much alive. Ballybrack were just struggling with squad numbers to fulfil that fixture, but by faking the death of one of its players, the club make famous for all time.

Fernando Nuno Fuente Saiz was the player in question, with news being circulated that the player had died in a traffic accident last Thursday, though in a statement released by the Leinster Senior League, 'La-Fuenta' was actually  in 'good health' having returned to his native Spain.

Here was the league's statement, which was released four years ago today:

The Leinster Senior League acted in good faith at all times and when notified by a representative of Ballybrack FC as to the death of a member player we immediately offered our heartfelt condolences and also shared the sad news with all other LSL clubs in order for them to offer their own individual condolences.

“We are glad to hear that the player is in good health and has returned to his native Spain.”

“The Leinster Senior League will co-operate with all relevant agencies in the investigation of this matter and the league will also deal with this issue through their own internal disciplinary procedures.”

“The Leinster Senior League would like to offer their sincerest apologies for any distress caused as a result of notifying the clubs as to the demise of a valued player.”

“The league acted in absolute good faith with the information supplied by the club and only had the welfare and interest of those affected by the reported ‘tragedy’ as our uppermost concern at all times.”

After the news of La-Fuenta's 'death' was circulated, numerous clubs came out and released statements in sympathy with Ballybrack over their loss including CIE Ranch FC and Rush Athletic FC. Ballybrack's match against Arklow Town was postponed as a result of the fictitious bereavement.

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La-Fuenta's apparent demise was even recorded in the Herald Striker, with a statement from Leinster Senior League secretary Pat Kiernan:

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It is with great sadness that we report that I must report the death of Ballybrack FC player Fernando Nuno La-Fuente. He was tragically killed in a traffic accident on his way home from football training on Thursday night last. The officers and committee of the Leinster Senior League would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Fernando's family, and also to Ballybrack FC.

May Fernando rest in peace.

Over the weekend players in the league observed a minute’s silence and wore black armbands as a mark of respect at the player's 'passing'.

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The story became the source of incredible memes and fodder for international news. It was even discussed on Primetime. The club would have to face sanctions from not fulfilling the Arklow Town fixture and for bringing the game into disrepute, but they avoided expulsion from the league.

It would turnout that Saiz had actually nearly died around the time of the reported accident - but from an illness contracted via a tooth infection.

Fernando La Fuente Saiz also inspired the best runaway podcast success of 2018.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-8vb6ZbUCI

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