It has been revealed that a story about England cricket all-rounder Ben Stokes, which was definitely not printed in the Rochdale Herald, was a complete fabrication. 

The story, which intimated the Durham player had jested about the supposed death of team-mate Chris Woakes, has caused great upset to the family of Stokes.

“We’re choked that someone could carry out such a cruel deception” said Stokes’ father, Ged.

It has been confirmed that the story probably originated from journalist Rebastian Piesel of the Oldham Triumph, and not, as has been widely assumed, Sebastian Wiesel of the Rochdale Herald.

“We have investigated thoroughly” said the editor of the Herald “and we can say without doubt that the original story was not printed by us.”

“If it had been, which it definitely wasn’t, it was in no way a cheap set-up by Sebastian to allow him to shatter the ‘length of headline completely made up by rhyming words’ record.

“Which, by the way, he just has.”