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Wednesday, July 14, 1999 Published at 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK


Grobbelaar's evidence 'riddled with lies'

Bruce Grobbelaar faced a third day of cross-examination

Laywers for The Sun have accused former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar of attempting to pervert the course of justice in his High Court libel action over match-fixing allegations.

The BBC's Adam Mynott: "Mr Carman said Mr Grobbelaar's evidence was riddled with lies"
George Carman, QC, concluded his third day of cross-examation with a withering attacker on the former Liverpool and Southampton star.

He said Mr Grobbelaar's version of events was "riddled with lies and evasion and deviousness".

The BBC's Adam Mynott: "Thousands of pounds were kept in his sock draw"
"That is simply not true," said the 41-year-old Zimbabwean, who is suing the newspaper for defamation over a series of articles in November 1994 which claimed he took money from a Far Eastern betting syndicate to "throw" matches.

The Sun, who persuaded Mr Grobbelaar's friend, Chris Vincent, to tape conversations with the keeper, said he took £40,000 to make sure Liverpool lost to Newcastle in 1993.

[ image: Chris Vincent fell out with Mr Grobbelaar over a business deal]
Chris Vincent fell out with Mr Grobbelaar over a business deal
It said he also blew the chance of making £125,000 when he "accidentally" made a brilliant save against Manchester United.

The newspaper denies libel, claiming justification and qualified privilege.

Mr Grobbelaar and three co-defendants - former Wimbledon players Hans Segers and John Fashanu and Malaysian businessman Heng Suan Lim - were acquitted of match-fixing after a trial in 1997.

Mr Carman told the High Court Mr Grobbelaar had lied about the existence of the "short man" - as Mr Lim was known - for eight months.

When he was confronted with the newspaper's defence, he said he had gone on record saying the "short man" was a figment of his imagination.

Mr Grobbelaar admitted he lied about a midnight trip to London to see Mr Lim and another visit to north London to see Mr Fashanu at his home.

'No intentional deception'

He told the jury he did not intentionally deceive, but was concerned that a relationship with Mr Lim would be in breach of FA rules and would affect his career.

Mr Grobbelaar has maintained throughout that he only ever gave Mr Lim advice on the possible outcome of matches and never deliberately altered results.

Mr Carman said Mr Grobbelaar was "deeply hurt" when his "golden career" at Liverpool came to end in 1994 with the club letting him know through a newspaper that his contract was not being renewed.

He said: "The sad reality of your story is that you were tempted by greed to try and make for yourself a secret iron reserve of money which you could take to Zimbabwe to forge out a new life."

Mr Grobbelaar dismissed Mr Carman's claims and said he could still have been playing in the Premier League if his career had not gone "down the nick" following The Sun's allegations.


Richard Hartley QC, for Grobbelaar, asked his client why he thought Mr Vincent wanted to destroy his footballing career.

"Because of the business dealings in Africa. He wanted to destroy me and really put the knife in," he replied.

Mr Grobbelaar accused Mr Vincent of taking "the best part of my life away from me".

The former Liverpool star, who had spells at Plymouth and non-league Chesham after leaving Southampton, told the court he moved his children - then aged seven and 11 - out of the country when the story first broke because he did not want them to be affected at school.

The case continues.

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