Adidas pay-out for faulty football boot

Adam Gretton A Sunday league footballer from Norfolk has scored a compensation victory over a global sportsware manufacturer after suffering a serious injury as a result of a faulty boot.

Adam Gretton

A Sunday league footballer from Norfolk has scored a compensation victory over a global sportsware manufacturer after suffering a serious injury as a result of a faulty boot.

Amateur footballer Mike Ellis was offered just �50 and a replacement pair of football boots by Adidas after rupturing his Achilles tendon during a veterans game 18 months ago.

But the 46-year-old from Diss is celebrating after receiving a four figure payout after launching legal action against the multinational sports company.


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The striker, who plays for Harts Vets FC in the Norfolk and Suffolk Veterans Football League, agreed an out of court settlement after starting court proceedings against Adidas.

Mr Ellis, who has just returned to light training after suffering the injury, yesterday said he was pleased that the matter had come to an end and the compensation would help aid his recovery.

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The footballer was playing in a match at Hartismere High School at Eye in August 2007 when one of the studs of his Adidas Predator Pulse boots snapped. His leg twisted and he ruptured his Achilles tendon. As a result his leg was cast and in a splint for 12 weeks and he subsequently had to undergo intensive physiotherapy.

After the injury, Mr Ellis said he sent his boots back to Adidas, who offered him �50 and a new pair of boots by way of compensation. But the footballer was unhappy with the offer and contacted personal injury solicitors comercrawley of Diss, who helped agree the undisclosed, four figure sum with Adidas.

Mr Ellis, who hopes to return to playing in the veterans league next season, said: “The original offer from Adidas was derisory, given the inconvenience, pain and suffering I went through for 18 months. They must have known that at the time, but fortunately my solicitor was able to achieve a much more equitable outcome.”

Emma Crawley, director of comercrawley and sports injury specialist, said it was unusual for amateur footballers to get such a compensation payout from sportsware manufacturers like Adidas. She added that modern football boots were placing greater stresses on players' bodies.

“A lot of people might not bother to complain when they suffer an injury, but Mike had been playing football for 20 years and knew there was something different with these boots.”

'These days there is no give in either the pitches or the studs, so you could say that the studs actually engage too well with the surface. In the case of Mike Ellis, it was the boot which suddenly gave way and all that pent up stress was released catastrophically,” she said.

A spokesman for Adidas last night said that the company could not comment on individual cases, but accepted that a fault had occurred in Mr Ellis' boot.

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