Young footballer loses fight for compensation

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A FOOTBALLER whose fledgling career with Sheffield United ended after a botched knee operation has failed in a bid to reignite his £10 million damages claim.

Sharu Naraji, aged 28, was on the cusp of playing in the top flight in 2005 when he suffered a ligament injury during training.

The Bolton-born winger underwent an operation to reconstruct his anterior cruciate ligament at a US clinic in November 2006, but his knee never fully recovered.

He launched a compensation claim against leading sports injury surgeon Donald Shelbourne, who performed the surgery.

He lost his claim for compensation in October when it was turned down at London’s High Court, despite the judge saying Dr Shelbourne had been negligent.

Naraji this week made a fresh attempt to secure a payout for his suffering, but his appeal bid was rejected.

Lord Justice Maurice Kay said it was ‘with regret’ he refused a further hearing, saying he had ‘maximum sympathy’ for Naraji.

Originally, Mr Justice Popplewell had said Dr Shelbourne had been negligent, but went on to rule that, even had the operation been a success, Naraji would probably never again been able to play football at the highest level.

Naraji went to the Appeal Court in a bid to have the case re-tried, with his lawyers arguing Mr Justice Popplewell was wrong and should be overturned.

Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Kay said the ex-Blade’s legal team was simply trying to put his case in a different way.

He said: “I refuse permission to appeal, but with regret because one cannot help but have sympathy for this young man.”