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Tuesday, 20 April, 1999, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Paper kills off musician by mistake
telegraph obit
The obituary that had the rest of the media scratching their heads
The wife of former Fairport Convention musician Dave Swarbrick has been swamped with calls from fans and friends after a UK newspaper wrongly reported his death.

The obituary of the folk violinist was published in the Daily Telegraph as he recovered in hospital in Coventry after a serious illness.

His wife Jill said he had been transferred to a normal ward from an intensive care unit at Walsgrave Hospital after battling with a chest infection.

But she said he saw the funny side after reading his own obituary, quipping: "It's not the first time I have died in Coventry."

telegraph
The Telegraph says it has apologised to Jill Swarbrick
She added: "He read the obituary and didn't quarrel with any of the spellings or the facts - apart from the obvious.

"He's trying to see the funny side but it's very upsetting.

"The phone has been red hot this morning with all the musicians who know him ringing up to find out how he died and to offer their support."

A spokesman for the Telegraph said: "I have spoken to Mrs Swarbrick this morning and apologised to her, and we will be publishing a full apology tomorrow."

The 58-year-old is best known for his part in Fairport Convention during the 1970s and 1980s, and his work with Martin Carthy.

He left Fairport Convention in 1984, but has continued to perform on the electric violin around the world.

Swarbrick was struck by illness while in Germany five weeks ago. He has suffered from the lung disease emphysema for some years.

The obituary paid tribute to 'Swarb', "a small, dynamic, charismatic figure" who could "electrify an audience with a single frenzied sweep of his bow".

Former Fairport Convention colleague Dave Pegg was also inundated with calls.

He said: "It is a glowing obituary and Dave will be very pleased with what they have said. But it is unbelievable it has been published now."

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