Former New Zealand international cricketer Nathan McCullum was forced to deny his own death after rumours spread on social media that he had passed away.
The 38-year-old, who played 84 One Day Internationals for his country, wrote on Twitter: “I am alive and kicking more than ever before. Not sure where this news has come from but this is fake. Love you all.”
— Nathan McCullum (@MccullumNathan) December 1, 2018
McCullum included an image of a post from fan page New Zealand Cricket FanHub in his tweet, which claimed his wife had announced he had passed away.
The fan page, which has more than 25,000 likes, has since apologised for its mistake, writing: “We made a mistake and we are sorry. Nathan McCullum is alive and doing well.”
An admin for the fan page told the Press Association: “I saw it [the news] posted on another Facebook page which has since been taken down. [I] can’t remember the name of it, but yes, I didn’t really look into it as much as I should have.”
Another admin for the page said that the person responsible for sharing the post has now had their administrative powers taken away, adding that they had seen the claims spread elsewhere on the internet.
McCullum’s Wikipedia page has since been given semi-protected status “due to vandalism.”
Social media users responded to the rumours – some paid their respects online, but others weren’t convinced.
Meanwhile, Nathan’s brother Brendon shared his own confusion on Twitter, writing: “my heart broke!”
Nathan McCullum retired from international cricket in 2016 to spend more time with his family.