A young footballer whose dreams of playing for Manchester United’s senior team were smashed when he broke his leg has won a GBP 4.3 million compensation claim.
Ben Collett was just 18 when his leg was broken in a reserves match against Middlesbrough six years ago.
Gary Smith, who used to play for Middlesbrough, and the club admitted liability but had appealed over the amount of the compensation.
But this appeal was rejected at the Civil Courts of Justice in Manchester following evidence given by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and captain Gary Neville.
Although Middlesbrough had said Mr Collett had not yet proved his worth as a player, his legal representatives said he could have been earning more than £13,000 a week until the age of 35 if his career had progressed.
Lady Justice Smith, who joined Lord Justice Carnwath in making the decision, said: "The judge has put into the balance the possibility that the respondent might have done better than she had predicted. She was entitled to take that view."
Collett, now 23, is studying English at Leeds University.
The amount is thought to be the highest ever to be ordered to be paid out to a sportsman or woman by a court in England.