Saturday 21 September 2019

Fernando's a global star after 'faked' death goes around the world

Fernando and his mum Amparo. Photo: Paddy Power /PA Wire
Fernando and his mum Amparo. Photo: Paddy Power /PA Wire

Emile Laurac

An amateur footballer whose former club faked his death has spoken of his new-found fame in his native Spain after he hit headlines around the world.

Dublin club Ballybrack FC was forced to apologise last month after someone from the club told the Leinster Senior League (LSL) that Fernando Nuno La-Fuente had been killed in a traffic accident. The side's game against Arklow Town was postponed, while other teams in the league held a minute's silence in honour of the player.

Ballybrack FC apologised and described the incident as a "grave and unacceptable mistake".

Fernando has revealed his new-found celebrity status has extended to Spain, with the amateur footballer remaining the centre of attention after he returned to his family this week for the first time since false reports emerged that he had died.

"My mam [Amparo] works in the town hall in Spain and many of her friends came to my house to see me and speak with me over the past few days," he said.

"We're going to have a big party [on Christmas eve] and about 30 members of my family will gather together."

Fernando, who was a special guest on Paddy Power's 'Christmas Cracker', also revealed his mother took him to the local medical centre for a full check-up after the Ballybrack incident.

He explained how his mum whisked him straight from the airport to the hospital when he returned to his native country.

"She took me first to the dentist and then to the hospital," he continued.

"Everything was OK. I tried to tell her I was fine but she wanted to see it with her own eyes. After it, she bought me a hot water bottle to bring back with me to Ireland."

In a statement posted on Facebook last month, the club said the person responsible for reporting Fernando's death had been experiencing "personal difficulties".

The club escaped expulsion from the LSL but was sanctioned. The individual who issued the false report was also sanctioned.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport