Soccerbase hit by student hacker, Trinity Mirror’s online stats bible for football fans, went down last Friday night with the ominous message that it had come under attack “from a third party stealing data and content”.

Someone was downloading hundreds of thousands of results from the website, slowing up Soccerbase’s function and interfering with other Trinity Mirror websites.

The site was back up on Monday after a Hong Kong student confessed he was to blame. He had devised a software programme to filch the results for his thesis. He promised to stop at once.

In the meantime, messages from site users poured in. Even more came in to say how happy they were when normal transmission was resumed.

The student is safe from legal action. “It’s good to know we are so popular in the Far East,” said a spokesman.

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