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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Pitcher loses damages case
Darren Pitcher
Pitcher now works in the building trade
Darren Pitcher has lost his case for damages against Huddersfield Town.

Pitcher was injured while playing for Crystal Palace against Huddersfield on 31 August, 1996.

He suffered a serious knee injury in a challenge with Paul Reid and brought a case of alleged negligence against Huddersfield.

Football was his life and his life has been in disarray since the fatal match
Mrs Justice Hallett

Pitcher claimed damages of more than 1m and argued a "negligent" tackle had ended his professional career.

But Mrs Justice Hallett at the High Court ruled otherwise and said that the tackle was nothing more than an "error of judgment".

The judge added that the tackle occurred regularly in First Division football.

She said: "I appreciate what a disappointment my judgment will be for Mr Pitcher.

"I can only hope that he can in future come to terms with this devastating injury and the effect it has had on his footballing career and his life."

She added: "He has lost congenial and well-paid employment. Football was his life and his life has been in disarray since the fatal match."

Huddersfield denied liability and called football pundit Jimmy Hill to give evidence.

Pitcher, who now works in the building trade but cannot perform heavy duties, is considering an appeal.

Pitcher's solicitor Mel Goldberg, said: "He is extremely surprised and disappointed at the result. We will consider pursuing an appeal."

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