Football: Uzzell considers starting civil action

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JOHN UZZELL, the Torquay defender at the centre of the controversy that continues to divide football, signalled his intention last night to pursue a civil action against the Brentford striker, Gary Blissett, by instructing his solicitor to seek advice about the strength of his case.

Uzzell was disconsolate when a jury at Salisbury Crown Court cleared Blissett last week of causing him grievous bodily harm. Since then the player who sustained serious facial injuries in a collision with Blissett during a Third Division game last December has been 'heartened' by the support he has received and says he is determined not to let the matter die.

'I would not like to see it dropped and at this stage I want to do everything I can to see that fair play is done,' said Uzzell, who fears he will not be able to resume his career.

He is unemployed and concerned about the financial implications of instigating another court action. 'That is what has to be decided because the financial risk is not to be sneezed at. My solicitor is to seek advice from a barrister and we will decide where to go from there.

'I have been told there is a wide difference between the two courts and how the evidence is put over. In the criminal court you have to prove intent but from what I understand that isn't necessarily the case in a civil hearing.'

Graham Kelly, the chief executive of the Football Association who was called as a defence witness, has come under increasing pressure following his appearance in court. The Association of Premier League and Football League referees and linesmen have condemned his assertion that the challenge was an 'ordinary' one while the Professional Footballers' Association question whether in the interests of the game and the players concerned he should have been in court.

Bruce Grobbelaar has alerted his many admirers at other clubs by admitting it is time for him to leave Liverpool. The 35-year-old goalkeeper who has spent 11 seasons on Merseyside says he cannot accept being third choice behind Mike Hooper and David James.

Leeds shareholders last night gave the go-ahead for an elite three-man executive board. The chairman, Leslie Silver, the vice- chairman, Peter Gilman, and the managing director, Bill Fotherby, the three major shareholders, were granted executive director status with prime responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Elland Road club.

Barry Fry, the sacked Barnet manager, ignored a warning to keep away from the club's games by Barnet's controversial chairman, Stan Flashman, by watching his former side go down a last- minute goal at Northampton Town in the Autoglass Trophy competition last night. Northampton won 2-1.