Johan Cruyff must have nearly choked on his morning Muesli when reading the papers this week. A Dutch newspaper have had to apologise after running a story that said the football legend had died when he was in fact alive and well.
Volkskrant wrote a fake story headlined 'Johan Cruyff deceased' to test their new online app. The article was mistakenly published and it quickly went viral on social media with scores of soccer fans paying tribute to the supposedly fallen sporting icon. The damage was already done by the time the piece was taken down.
The newspaper's editor, Philippe Remarque, was very apologetic for what he called a "stupid mistake".
On behalf of Volkskrant I offer my apologies to Johan Cruyff and anyone who has been upset by this.
The app was tested this morning with fake stories, and a technician came up with this as a way of testing a major breaking news story. By mistake it appeared with this headline.
The silver lining for Cruyff is that the scare might give him a new lease on life a la Jimmy Stewart in "It's A Wonderful Life". There have been unconfirmed sightings of the former Netherlands captain in Ducati dealerships and tattoo parlours across Northern Europe.
Hat tip: Independent