THIS morning, The Northern Echo’s website carried an obituary to Charlie Donaghy, a lifelong supporter of grassroots sport in the North-East.

However, we are pleased to be able to report that Mr Donaghy is alive and well.

We checked with three independent sources, including a representative of at least one of the clubs Mr Donaghy worked with, who all confirmed the information, prior to it being published.

We removed the story from our website and social media channels as soon as we were made aware that it was incorrect.

We apologise unreservedly for our mistake, and for any understandable distress and devastation that was caused to Mr Donaghy, his family and friends.

Mr Donaghy’s family issued a statement today: “We are devastated by the inaccuracy of this report. This has caused immeasurable distress for my sister as well to many of Dad’s friends and supporters over the years. To allow this to be released onto the internet without checking with our family is unforgivable. Please ensure this never happens to anyone else again as you cannot unhear or unread that your father is dead.”