The Bruce family's minister for disinformation, Alex Bruce, torpedoed us into a deep depression last Friday.
He went on BBC Five Live and told stunned listeners that his father Steve was not, in fact, the author of 'Striker', the legendary football murder mystery novel that bears his name.
It had been revealed that Steve Bruce was a budding novelist.
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) October 21, 2016
Needless to say, according to Alex's tale, Steve was also not the man behind 'Defender' or 'Sweeper', the other novels which contained his pen pic on the dust jacket.
For a while we didn't know what to think. We were led to believe that some cynical publisher had an apparatchik vomit out a few murder mysteries and, in order to maximise sales, had sought to convince the world that they were in fact written by former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce.
According to Alex, his dear old Dad just went along with the scheme.
Now, Bruce the elder has come forward and told the world that those novels were written by him and by his own hand.
His son Alex was not guilty of telling a malicious lie. According to Steve, he was just misinformed. Quite why Daddy Bruce would go to such lengths to conceal this novelistic achievement from his son was something which baffled us at first.
Alas, the clue to this can be found in his comments to Sky Sports today.
Steve is rather self-critical of his novel writing abilities and does not believe these books have a great a deal of literary merit. He was speaking to Jonathan Oakes of Sky Sports.
Oakes: I want to ask about these murder mystery novels that have surfaced...
Bruce: They were about 10 to 15 years ago. They are genuine, yes!
Oakes: You didn't think of writing another one?
Bruce: No, have you read them? Go and read them and you'll understand why.
Oakes: They're going for big money on Ebay at the moment...
Bruce: Are they really? Wow. That's because there were not many published. I think my son went out on Radio 5 and he didn't know anything about it. It was a long, long time ago and there'll be no more. I assure you.
Perhaps the best thing about this admission is it wipes the smug smile from the face of 'all-knowing' Darren Fletcher, who gave himself a hearty pat the back for 'twigging' immediately that Brucey couldn't possibly have been the author of these novels.