“REPORTS of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” said Mark Twain.

Gordon Roberts, affectionately known as Gordon the Tramp, put it differently after rumours of his “death” spread like wildfire over the internet yesterday.

“I’m sticking around, I’m still alive!” said the living legend, when the Daily Echo found him in Bournemouth town centre.

Gordon has been famous for years – for supporting AFC Bournemouth, telling you the time despite not owning a watch, and for being the nicest, scruffiest, most eccentric man around town.

But yesterday cyberspace was stunned by rumours he had died of a heart attack.

Within hours a Gordon the Tramp RIP Facebook group had attracted dozens of followers. His Wikipedia entry was changed to report his death.

See the Related Link below to view the Wikipedia entry.

AFC Bournemouth message boards were buzzing with the news.

Thankfully it turned to be a hoax and Gordon was last night happy to put the record straight at 5.45pm in Old Christchurch Road.

The 76-year-old said: “I’m still here. It’s news to me. They said I kicked the bucket. But I’m alright.”

Asked where he had been during the day he said: “I’ve been up and down town like a yo-yo!”

Gordon shot to fame in 2007 when TV and newspapers began to report students’ fascination with him. A Facebook tribute group currently has more than 14,000 members.

He is understood to live in a house despite his nickname.

Gordon said yesterday the rumours didn’t bother him but they did bother some of the many people who have come to count him as a friend.

Dalkeith Arcade flower seller Sarah Garrity, 37, said: “It’s really cruel. Everyone loves Gordy. It wasn’t so long ago that he was in hospital.

“He says hello to everyone, has a cup of tea in the chippy, and goes for a warm in Walkabout.”

Inigo Diez, 22, who works in a nearby bakery, said: “He’s a very special man. We always try and give him some cakes because we know he loves them and I try to speak to him about football.

“It’s very rude to write this online. They’re just playing around.”

Yesterday evening Wikipedia stood corrected after dozens of alterations.

Gordon mainly wanted to know when he would be in the paper. He laughed: “How much do I get for it?”