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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Goalkeeper given burns damages
Andy Dibble
Dibble enjoyed a long career at the top level
Former Wales international goalkeeper Andy Dibble has won 20,000 damages after suffering "horrific" burns when he dived to make a save.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Britain, Dibble, 36, was awarded the money after he was scarred for life by pitch markings drawn with hydrated lime.

At the time of the incident, in December 1998, he was playing for Barry Town in the League of Wales, against Carmarthen Town at their council-maintained ground.

The 36-year-old, who now plays for Stockport County, did not realise how badly he was hurt until he took his shirt off after the game.


He had to undergo skin graft surgery, which is very painful, and has been left with scarring
  Craig Porter,
Andy Dibble's solicitor
He discovered a four-inch wide strip of flesh had been burnt off from his shoulder to his hip.

He was taken to hospital in Wales where he underwent skin grafts before being transferred to Withington Hospital in Greater Manchester.

Dibble's Manchester-based solicitor Craig Porter said the incident had totally changed the direction of Mr Dibble's career.

The former Manchester City goalkeeper had been planning to move to America to pursue his ambitions.

Embarrassing

Mr Porter said: "It would have been a very lucrative move for him.

"Instead he had to stay in this country and scrabble around for a club when he recovered in 1999.

"The story about his injuries had been widely covered and that affected his bargaining power."

Mr Porter added that the injuries on his chest had been "horrific".

"He had to undergo skin graft surgery, which is very painful, and has been left with scarring which is very embarrassing to him in the showers after games."

Solicitors Russell, Jones and Walkers reached a settlement with Carmarthen Town Council's insurers which included damages for pain, suffering and loss of earnings, last week.

A spokesman for the town council declined to comment.

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