Football player in sex case will be named

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The Independent Online

A married Premier League footballer who had affairs with a lap dancer and a nursery nurse will be identified tomorrow after the courts ran out of patience with his attempts to remain anonymous.

Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice, refused to give the sportsman time to appeal to the House of Lords. He said the story "would inevitably emerge" after an injunction on publication of his name expires at midnight tonight.

The footballer did not lodge his appeal in time for the Lords to deal with it before the end of Easter. When he asked the Court of Appeal to extend the injunction until the end of the break, Lord Woolf refused.

The ruling, which came the day after Naomi Campbell won her claim for privacy against The Mirror, deprives the footballer, known as A, of a final appeal. Many lawyers believe a judgment by the Lords would have helped clarify the law relating to privacy and celebrities.

But Lord Woolf indicated that the footballer had told his wife some of the details of the affairs. He said one of the main reasons the Court of Appeal had granted a stay was because the footballer "was anxious to protect his wife and child from the damaging consequences of the publicity. But the claimant, it appears, has himself said something to his wife, [although] apparently not the full story".

A High Court judge, Mr Justice Jack, ruled in September last year that the laws of confidentiality could apply to relationships outside marriage. He barred the Sunday People newspaper from reporting "kiss-and-tell stories" about the footballer, who is married with two children.