Belfast Telegraph

Wikipedia prank gives Eamonn Holmes previous career as football star

Amused: Eamonn Holmes
Amused: Eamonn Holmes
Ivan Little

By Ivan Little

Eamonn Holmes has fallen foul of internet hoaxers who claimed he was a gifted footballer in his youth and was hailed by many as "the Irish Pele".

The prankster rewrote sections of the broadcaster's Wikipedia page, the free online encyclopaedia service which can be edited by the public online, talking about Eamonn's sporting prowess.

The edited section said: "He had a promising career, starting out at Northern Irish football team Linfield. He was compared to fellow countryman George Best and was once described as the 'Irish Pele.'"

The article said that Holmes played 21 times for Linfield, scoring 62 times, an improbable average for any player of nearly three goals every game.

The spoof entry also claimed that Eamonn's "predatory goal rate" at Linfield attracted the attention of many English teams including Liverpool and Chelsea, but their "target" wasn't sure about the move.

It added that London club Brentford, nicknamed the Bees, who played in the lower divisions of English football, won the race for Eamonn's signature after protracted negotiations, securing his services on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. According to the entry Eamonn played five times for Brentford, scoring just one goal, an overheard bicycle kick of all things, in a 2-1 win over Northampton Town.

"Despite their protests, Holmes decided against football, quitting the Bees to pursue a career in the media," said the pranksters, whose entry has now been deleted from Eamonn's Wikipedia page

Of course Eamonn, a Manchester United fan, never played professional football for anyone, with the journalist telling the Belfast Telegraph yesterday that the first he knew about the hoax was when he was interviewed recently by comedian and TV host Keith Lemon.

Eamonn said: "He came out with all of this.

"I thought he was joking but then I realised he was confused... I just kept nodding and said the Irish Pele bit was true... in my own mind."

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