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Wednesday, April 29, 1998 Published at 07:55 GMT 08:55 UK

Sport: Football

Hoddle to sue Uri Geller
image: [ Glenn Hoddle was
Glenn Hoddle was "distressed" by Uri Geller's claims

Glenn Hoddle is to sue the psychic Uri Geller over his claims in a Sunday newspaper that the England coach visited him at home to seek his help.

Uri Geller's article claimed the meeting took place at his Berkshire mansion a couple of years ago.

[ image: Uri Geller claims the England coach visited him at home]
Uri Geller claims the England coach visited him at home
Although the Football Association immediately revealed that Mr Hoddle was taking legal advice and seriously considering taking legal action. Mr Geller has not apologised or issued a retraction.

As a result Mr Hoddle's solicitors have announced that the England coach will sue Mr Geller for libel and malicious falsehood.

A statement from St Albans-based law firm, Pictons, said: "England coach Glenn Hoddle has begun High Court proceedings against Uri Geller and News Group Newspapers Limited.

"In a Sunday newspaper out earlier this week, untrue allegations were made about Glenn Hoddle. They have caused him great distress at a time when he has been entrusted with preparing England's football team for the World Cup finals in France.

"He will continue that crucial task while others on his behalf pursue matters in the courts."

Mr Hoddle has described Uri Geller's claims as "an extraordinary combination of lies, inaccuracies, exaggerations and misleading innuendoes".

[ image: Uri Geller says faith healer Eileen Drewery accompanied Glenn Hoddle]
Uri Geller says faith healer Eileen Drewery accompanied Glenn Hoddle
Malicious falsehood is a far more serious matter than libel, because, if proved, it means the defendant knowingly told a lie, and did so out of malice.

While in a libel case, it would up to the former Spurs and England midfielder to prove that Mr Geller was wrong, in a case of malicious falsehood it would be for the psychic to prove he was correct.

If Mr Hoddle wins the case, his damages could run into tens, if not thousands of pounds.

If the case comes to court Glenn Hoddle's faith healer Eileen Drewery and the former Chelsea footballer Paul Elliott, whom Mr Geller claims were present at the alleged meeting, will be called to give evidence.

[ image: Mr Geller also says ex-Chelsea defender Paul Elliott was present]
Mr Geller also says ex-Chelsea defender Paul Elliott was present
Mr Elliott has refused to discuss the case, saying the facts will emerge in court if he is called to give evidence.

Uri Geller was unavailable for comment but released a statement saying: "I am surprised and saddened by the statement issued by Glenn Hoddle. I stand by the article which was published.

"Apart from a brief meeting at a football match a few months ago, Glenn Hoddle has not visited me, nor spoken to me, since his appointment as England coach."

He added: "I can't understand why there is any dispute over what occurred. I will vigorously defend any legal action against me."


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