1. Ali Dia
A plan as simple as it was stunning: get someone to ring Graeme Souness claiming to be George Weah. Get the Fake Weah to recommend his ‘cousin’ to the then Southampton boss. Sign your Premier League contract. Dia made his one and only Premier League appearance against Leeds in 1996. He came on as a substitute in the 32nd minute and was taken off again after 53 minutes. He never played for Southampton again, but did briefly turn up at non-league Gateshead.
2. Didier Baptiste
Baptiste was the match-fixing bad boy of TV drama Dream Team. The News of the World, followed by The Times and The Observer, reported that Arsenal were interested in signing the fictional player for £3.5m. It was later revealed that the rumour started as a joke on an Arsenal fan site.
3. Karl Power
The Manc prankster has gatecrashed a couple of Manchester United team photos, most famously before a Champions League game against Bayern Munich in 2001. He took up his position next to Andy Cole and was not spotted until people began examining the photos later!
As we told you earlier, this fake Moldovan youngster was reported by several media outlets to be a target for a variety of English teams, most notably Arsenal, despite being nothing more than the subject of some hoax AP press releases.
When Middlesbrough signed distinctly average Brazilian defender Fabio they knew they were being hoaxed. He was signed by Boro purely to sweeten the deal to take Emerson to Teeside. His lookalike cousin made one appearance in 14 months at the club.