Football club has minute's silence for ex-player, then realise he's alive

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Football club officials held a minute's silence for one of their former player – only for his family to point out the 86-year-old man was still alive and well.

Tommy Farrer was part of the non-league Bishop Auckland team that reached the FA Amateur Cup at Wembley three times. He also won 20 amateur international caps for England and played in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

The County Durham club printed tributes to him in the local paper and their football programme, which described him as a former "legend".

They also decided to pay tribute to Farrer's contribution prior to a non-League game against Newcastle Banfield last week.

But great-grandad Tommy is still living with wife Gladys, 87, in Maidstone, Kent.

The mistake came to light when the club's chairman called his wife to offer condolences — and was told he had just gone out to buy a newspaper.

Farrer said in Friday editions of the Northern Echo: "We are not upset, but we did think it was a bit of a joke at first.

"I'm very moved that they went to such trouble for me, I played for them a very long time ago.

"Whoever it was who told people I had died obviously contacted the local football ground and they decided to go the whole hog by arranging the silence."

He added: "I just feel sorry for the 2,000 people stood freezing in the stadium.

"We go for a half-hour walk every day and are still fit and well."

Club chairman Terry Jackson said: "The news came through Bishop Auckland Social Club and we took it very seriously. But we're glad to hear that Tommy is still with us and hope he remains in good health for many years to come."

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