Footballer is sued over 'intimidatory' challenge

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER Northern Ireland football international John O'Neill told the High Court yesterday that his career was ended by an 'intimidatory' on-field clash with striker John Fashanu.

O'Neill said that what started as a 50-50 challenge for the ball turned into a 'classic example of a player going over the top'.

He told deputy judge Andrew Collins QC: 'Almost at the split second I played the ball, I felt a severe blow to my knee and heard a loud crack. I thought first of all I had broken my leg.'

O'Neill, 36, of Bridgewater, Caw, Londonderry, is suing Fashanu - now with Aston Villa - and his former club Wimbledon for pounds 150,000 compensation for right knee ligament and nerve damage in the clash, in December 1987, which wrecked his career as a player and potential professional coach. The damages have been agreed subject to liability being proved.

O'Neill accuses Fashanu of negligence and assault. Wimbledon are sued as being responsible for the actions of their player. The club and Fashanu, 31, deny negligence and assault.

The case continues tomorrow and is expected to end this week.

(Photograph omitted)

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