I have had a few people get in contact asking me to update the Beware Sensationalist Football Stories in The Daily Star Sunday article:
Since I first published this story interviews with Kaka, Samuel Eto'o, Xavi and Igor Akinfeev have been added. It seems the list is actually longer and fortunately the Daily Star has been kind enough to provide it in full courtesy of their website search engine function.
Since May 30th when Ben Fairthorne's first article appeared in the Daily Star Sunday (in which Xavi told him England were better than Argentina, Brazil or Italy) he has either written or co-written a grand total of 37 articles. All of them have contained quotes from a leading European based footballer.
The list of footballers who Fairthorne has quoted extensively in his articles is as follows:
Landon Donovan, Diego Milito, Luis Suarez, Joe Cole, Luis Fabiano, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Aguero, Mezut Ozil, David Silva, Iker Casilla, Kaka, David Villa, Samuel Eto'o, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Buffon, Wesley Sneijder, Igor Akinfeev, Xavi, Gerard Pique, Arjen Robben, Andreas Pirlo, Joe Cole and Ryan Giggs.
There were also three stories published in last week's edition of the Daily Star Sunday which bore all the hallmarks of a Fairthorne's work but were instead attributed to David Hyde. It is possible that Fairthorne's byline was replaced at the last minute in the aftermath of all the negative publicity he received last week on Twitter.
A couple of players including David Silva, Gerard Pique and Mezut Ozil have denied ever making the comments attributed to them in these Daily Star Sunday articles and it is clear that at least some of the quotes have been invented.
All the quotes in question tend to be fairly bland and some would doubtless argue fairly harmless. The problem is that these stories tend to get picked up on and regurgitated by more reputable media sources. Pique's comments about Torres (the ones he never actually made) ended up as headline news on the well respected Sky Sports website: Pique Urges Torres To Leave
Persistent transfer rumours can have an adverse affect on a player's relationship with his club and its supporters. Deliberately destabilizing an under contract player with fictional transfer speculation can even affect his performances.
Eventually this sort of thing can create a climate where people cease to believe any kind of written quote attributed to a footballer. This detracts from the work of journalists who do actually put in time and effort attempting to interview famous footballers.
You can see a list of all 37 articles Ben Fairthorne has either written or co written for the Daily Star here: Daily Star Sunday
And you can read my original article here: Bleacher Report
Apparently the Daily Star Sunday will no longer be using the services of Fairthorne. It will be very interesting to see if they publish similar stories under a different byline again in this week's edition.