£2.3m damages after footballing dreams ended by city centre accident

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£2.3m damages after footballing dreams ended by city centre accident

30th October 2015

A young footballer left with a serious brain injury after he was knocked down in Manchester City Centre almost six years ago, has finally won his battle for compensation.

The Blackley man was just a teenage student when he was hit by a car whilst leaving a nightclub at the Printworks complex, just before Christmas in 2007. He was so seriously injured that a passing doctor had to perform life-saving CPR before paramedics arrived to take him to hospital.

The young man – who does not wish to be named – has now received £2.3million in damages to secure the care, rehabilitation and help he will need for the rest of his life.

“This was a tragic case of a young man’s life being irrevocably changed because of the actions of a driver,” said Polly Herbert, a specialist serious injuries lawyer with Fentons Solicitors, part of Slater & Gordon, who represented the man and his family. “He had been taking part in a football academy training scheme at specialist Hopwood College as he hoped to become a professional footballer, but his injuries have ended that dream for good,” she said. “We’re just pleased that after all this time we’ve finally been able to secure him the help and care he needs to start rebuilding his life.”

The young man had been on a night out with friends and family members and had just begun to make his way home when he was hit by a car as he was crossing Corporation Street outside the Printworks. “Witnesses described hearing a loud bang before they saw him being flung through the air and landing heavily on the road,” said Mrs Herbert. “Luckily there was a doctor and a student nurse in the area who immediately went to his aid, performing emergency resuscitation after realising that his heart had stopped beating. Paramedics arrived shortly after and rushed him to Manchester Royal Infirmary.”

The teen’s mum raced to the hospital where she was told her son’s brain had started to swell, and he was transferred to the specialist brain injuries unit at Hope Hospital. “He stayed there for two months,” said the young man’s mother. “We visited him all the time, and finally they let him come home to us.

“His room was on the first floor, but he had badly injured his leg and so couldn’t get up and down the stairs,” she said. “He was just so weak and thin and he had problems walking. He had been such a fit and strong young man, and now he could barely get around without help. It was just heartbreaking.

“After a few weeks of being at home, we realised the extent of the serious head injury he had suffered, but I just wasn’t prepared for how much it would actually affect his life.

“Before the accident, he was a very chilled out and happy young man. He had a good group of friends, a girlfriend and had a very active social life through his love of football,” she said. “He was a very talented footballer and played for local teams throughout his youth. He has got so many medals and trophies that there is just not enough room to keep them in the house and we have boxed some of them up and put them in the attic.

“Part of his college course involved obtaining a football coaching qualification, so if he didn’t make it as a footballer he would have his coaching as another option. He was really proud when he passed the qualification to teach children.

“But his life has now completely changed,” she said. “Whilst many of his friends have visited him at home he has not really kept any of his close relationships apart from his best mate,” said the young man’s mother. “Although he has managed to get a little bit of his independence back, the brain injury he sustained means he’ll never be able to work again. Although he lived at home for the first few years after the accident, he’s now settled with his fiancée and young family nearby.”

Following the settlement, the young man now receives daily help from a support worker. Mrs Herbert said the settlement would ensure that this support was available for the rest of the young man’s life.

“As keen as he is to get involved in some form of vocational course, his injury means he can simply never return to paid employment,” she said. “However his occupational psychologist is working to secure him a voluntary position within the sports sector, and thanks to the substantial settlement he and his young family are now looking to purchase their own property in the local area.”

Media coverage - Manchester Evening News