Dead girlfriend who inspired US football star Manti Te'o to win 'didn't exist'

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 10:51 hrs

The heart-breaking story of a college football star who helped his team battle to the championship game after his girlfriend died of leukaemia was a hoax, it has been revealed.

The story of University of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o helped his team to victory after his long-distance girlfriend Lennay Kekua died, within days of his own grandmother.

He even played on the day of her funeral as he believed this is what she would have wanted.

But now it has been revealed that Kekua never existed and the picture on her Facebook page and Twitter account, which was used in reports across US have turned out to be another woman, who is alive, Sky News reported.

The University of Notre Dame confirmed the bizarre ruse in a news release on Wednesday after reported that Stanford has no record of her.

According to multiple reports, Te'o said that he met her in 2009 following a game against Stanford, where she was a student, and that the two began a relationship while he completed his senior year at the Indiana school.

The website also failed to find any records of Kekua being involved in a car accident or of her death.

According to the university, it is Te'o, who has been the victim of a hoax.

The school said that coaches were informed by Te'o and his parents on December 26 that he had been duped.

Someone using a fictitious moniker "apparently ingratiated herself" with Te'o, the university said, and then conspired with others to make him believe she had died of leukaemia.

Notre Dame said "the proper authorities" are probing a "very cruel deception". (ANI)

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