Paralysed rugby player wins pounds 2m

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The Independent Online
A YOUNG man left paralysed from the chest down when a scrum collapsed near the end of an ill-tempered rugby game received nearly pounds 2m compensation yesterday in an out-of-court settlement.

Team captain Ben Smoldon, now aged 24, broke his neck in the incident eight years ago.

He won a battle for compensation when in a landmark High Court ruling in 1996 Mr Justice Curtis found the referee was negligent in his handling of the game.

In yesterday's settlement Mr Smoldon, of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, received pounds 1,950,000 from the Rugby Football Union. He was happy with the outcome of the case, his solicitor, Terry Lee, said .

"It has been a long and difficult struggle, but the sum will now provide him with the financial security he needs for the rest of his life," Mr Lee said.

Mr Smoldon said yesterday: ""I want to get back to rugby again, hopefully managing - move out of home, live with my partner and hopefully have some children."

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