Footballer Rees Welsh wins landmark injury claim

A match between Ossett Town and Radcliffe Borough was abandoned when Welsh broke his ankle

A view of a Premier League football as a corner is taken during the match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park on April 28, 2018
Image: The injury case could have ramifications on semi-professional football clubs

Non-league footballer Rees Welsh has won a landmark case that could lead to more players claiming for damages if they get injured in matches.

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 on Tuesday afternoon awarded Welsh £19,297.38.

Ossett Town are liable for damages and prosecution costs, which run to a total of £135,000.

Welsh, who was sidelined with the injury for 13 months, 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.

While defence costs are covered by Ossett Town's league insurance, the payout is not covered.

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 Ingfield ground where the injury took place.

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

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