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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Footballer claims tackle damages
Ian Nolan (centre) needed special boots after his injury
A footballer left with one leg shorter than the other after a two-footed tackle has appeared in court to claim damages for his injury.

Former Sheffield Wednesday player Ian Nolan had his leg broken in a Premiership match against Tottenham Hotspur when Justin Edinburgh challenged him.

Mr Nolan, from Ainsley Court, St Helens, Merseyside, appeared before Lincoln County Court on Wednesday.

The court heard the incident happened shortly after Sheffield Wednesday scored at their ground, Hillsborough, in February 1998.


I held my head in my hands and didn't want to let go

Ian Nolan

The 31-year-old said he knew immediately he was seriously injured.

Mr Nolan said: "We started the game and within seconds I received the ball.

"I was aware of a white shirt coming for the ball but I didn't know it was Mr Edinburgh.

"His left foot did get the ball but I believe that his right foot made contact with my leg.

"I remember the seconds immediately after I didn't want to look down at my leg.

"I was scared it could be a compound fracture.

Special boots

"I held my head in my hands and didn't want to let go."

Nolan returned to football seven months later playing for Sheffield Wednesday reserves.

And he was back in the first team 18 months after the incident.

But he later joined Bradford City and then Wigan Athletic.


It was dangerous and it was reckless

Alistair Huett, retired referee

He told the court he still has to wear specially-made football boots, because his right leg is one centimetre shorter than the other.

"Without the boots made up I still have a very noticeable limp," he added.

Mr Nolan's friend and team mate at Sheffield Wednesday Peter Atherton told the hearing: "I thought it was a lunging tackle with both feet off the ground which wasn't necessary at the time."

And retired referee Alistair Huett told the trial: "I think it was dangerous and it was reckless.

'No complaints'

"Without a doubt it was a lunge and it was not an attempt to kick the ball in a normal manner.

"The tackle, or attempted tackle, made by Edinburgh was illegal and contrary to the rules of FIFA."

But Mr Edinburgh, 31, from Billericay, Essex, denied the tackle was particularly hard.

He said he had received no complaints from the Sheffield Wednesday players, the fans, or the referee after his tackle.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.


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23 Feb 01 | Northern Ireland
25 Jan 01 | Health
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