25 Jan 2009

Minute's silence slightly premature

5:41 pm on 25 January 2009

An English football club held a minute's silence for one of their former great players - only to find that he was still alive.

Bishop Auckland printed tributes to former England amateur international Tommy Farrer in the club programme and arranged a death notice in the local paper.

But when the club chairman Terry Jackson phoned the 86-year-old's wife Gladys to offer his condolences, she stunned him by saying he would be coming back soon - not from the afterlife, but from the shops.

Farrer played in three FA Amateur Cup finals at Wembley with north-eastern side Bishop Auckland, who were among the top non-professional clubs of the 1940s and 1950s.

He says he's very moved that they went to such trouble.

Bishop Auckland play in the ninth tier of English football, eight below the Premier League.