David McWilliam
Partner, Solicitor and Head of Personal Injury & Sports Law
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Date Published:19 Nov 2019 Last Updated:22 Sep 2021

Footballer wins over £150,000 following late tackle

Personal Injury Claims

Footballer Reece Welsh has won more than £150,000 in a landmark injury claim case that could lead to more football players claiming damages for getting injured.

A match between Ossett Town and Radcliffe Borough in the Northern Premier League had to be abandoned in April 2015 after Welsh suffered a badly broken ankle following a tackle from Ossett’s Sam Akeroyd.

A court in Manchester this week awarded Welsh £19,297.38. Ossett Town were held liable for damages and prosecution costs, which totaled £135,000. The defence costs were covered by Ossett Town’s league

The injury kept Welsh out for 13 months and he sued Akeroyd’s employers at the time, Ossett Town, for loss of earnings.

There could be some ramifications for semi-professional clubs with the possibility that it could lead to a wave of retrospective claims from players injured during matches.

Ossett Town exist in name only as they merged with Ossett Albion last year to form Ossett United, but the company does still own the ground where the injury took place.

The ruling which went in favour of Welsh could mean that the club will have to sell the stadium to developers, and also leave other semi-professional clubs open to similar legal proceedings.

David McWilliam, Head of Personal Injury at Ellis Jones has great experience of dealing with these cases and was in fact the victim of a late tackle in 2005 that ended his football playing days. A legal case was successful but they are very difficult cases to win. Detailed witness statements are required at a very early stage from as many payers, officials and spectators as possible. If the referee does not deem the tackle a red card offence this further adds to the difficulty of winning the case. The club and the player’s insurance position is of vital importance and whether indemnity is in place to cover any payment of damages and costs that may be awarded in a successful claim.

If you have been seriously injured as a result of a late football tackle, please call David McWilliam on 01202 057710 or send an email here.