A football journalist had a brush with the law in Italy when he was questioned over a forged E50 (£34) note he had inadvertently tried to use in Milan.
Tim Rich of The Independent was in the Italian city to cover Newcastle United’s Champions League match with Inter Milan.
He was trying to buy a train ticket at Milan’s central station to visit his brother, who lives near the city, when railway staff called in the police.
“At first I thought the note I had handed over was too big for ticket staff to change and then two policemen showed up,” said Rich.
“I had been eating out with another reporter from the North-East and paid for the meal with my card. He gave me the note.
“The police took me to the main station in Milan, where they told me the note was a forgery. I was questioned for about an hour, and then taken to get my passport and travel documents before making a statement.
“It was very frustrating, but the police soon realised I was not some master criminal after I explained who I was and what I was doing in Italy.”
The note came from a Newcastle travel agency, which is investigating where it came from.
By Rob Stewart