14 stories that could have been April Fools

Did you get caught out by any April Fools today? Apparently someone was peddling the claim that Paolo Di Canio has been appointed Sunderland manager.

Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the farcical and the false in sport, with all manner of bizarre stories emerging over the years.

Here's our list of 14 real stories that in an alternative universe could have been convincing jokes on April Fools' Day.

1. Mario Balotelli almost burns his house to the ground after a firework display in his bathroom goes wrong the night before the Manchester derby. Why always him indeed.

2. Legendary basketball star Michael Jordan decides to take up baseball, presumably after learning there will be no sequel to Space Jam.

3. West Ham somehow sign Argentina stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in a double deal that will in no way cause them trouble further down the line.

4. Lewis Hamilton announces plans to launch a recording career. Sure his missus had nothing to do with that.

5. College football star Manti Te'o exposed as having a fake girlfriend. We've all been there, Manti.

6. South African parents celebrate the 2010 World Cup by naming a new-born baby FIFA. What's wrong with plain old Sepp?

7. Ricky Hatton announces boxing comeback at age of 34. Maybe he should have stayed in the celebrity circuit.

8. Paul Gascoigne turns up to the Raoul Moat stand-off with a can of lager, some chicken and a fishing rod.

9. OJ Simpson goes on the run from police on live TV.

10. Manchester United spend £7.4 million on a player who once represented Portugal at the Homeless World Cup and only weeks before had joined Guimaraes from a third division side. Yes, that really happened.

11. Shane Warne announces he is dating Liz Hurley. Nope, no idea how that happened.

12. Fabio Capello quits as England boss over the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the armband. And on the same day Harry Redknapp is found not guilty of tax evasion no less.

13. Graeme Souness fields' George Weah's cousin' Ali Dia in a Premier League game for Southampton. The chancer lasted 20 minutes before being hauled off.

14. Council builds fence straight through goalposts. Does exactly what it says on the tin.

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