David McWilliam
Partner, Solicitor and Head of Personal Injury & Sports Law
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Date Published:19 Nov 2019 Last Updated:11 Apr 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.