Beachcroft lands £4m for injured football hopeful

Beachcroft lands £4m for injured football hopefulBeachcroft has secured former Manchester United hopeful Ben Collett more than £4m in compensation after his football career was prematurely ended five years ago.

Collett, 23, broke his leg in a reserve game against Middlesbrough five years ago after a negligent tackle. Middlesbrough player Gary Smith and his club admitted liability for the injury.

The total compensation Collett will receive is to be decided at a hearing in October when sums for future loss of pension and interest on past loss of earnings are determined.

The record damages come as Collett, who never played a full reserve game, was tipped to be a future football star by those who had coached him including Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Neville and Brian McClair.

Manchester-based silk Richard Hartley QC of Cobden House Chambers, who represented Collett, said the implications of the ruling by Mr Justice Swift could reach all levels of the game from Premier League to Sunday League.

“Clubs at both amateur and professional standing will need to examine carefully their third party insurance liability cover as cases like this will inevitably became more commonplace,” said Hartley.

“Individual professionals, even many Premier League stars, have cover which is inadequate, particularly in the light of today’s judgment.”

On the size of the compensation, Hartley added: “This is a landmark judgment and, while a lot will be made of the figure involved, it would be churlish to lose sight of what Ben Collett lost, for he clearly would have been a leading professional sportsman making the sort of money top stars enjoy.

Hartley, who heads the personal injury practice at Cobden House, was instructed by Beachcroft partner Jan Levinson as lead counsel, while the defendants Smith and Middlesbrough Football and Athletics Company were represented by Andrew Prynne QC of Henderson Chambers through instructions from Hextalls partner Alex Padfield.