Sex case player reaps damages

Manchester United star Tom Cleverley.
Manchester United star Tom Cleverley.
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A DUPED Blackpool girl’s claims that a top Manchester United star badgered her for sex has won the player undisclosed damages.

Midfield ace Tom Cleverley – who looks set to play for England tomorrow night – accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over the claim after it appeared in a national newspaper in August.

The Sun printed the story from the point of view of a 20-year-old girl who said she was pestered by the United midfielder. But it was a man from West Yorkshire who resembled Cleverley.

The 22-year-old brought High Court proceedings against News Group Newspapers over the story which left him “extremely upset and embarrassed”, said his advocate, David Price QC.

Mr Price told Mr Justice Tugendhat in London the player was alleged to have taken the Blackpool girl to a bed and breakfast where he introduced her to his bodyguard and did a Google search on his name to demonstrate he was a famous footballer.

He added: “Most seriously, the article alleged he repeatedly badgered her for sex despite her saying ‘no’.”

Mr Price said the truth was Mr Cleverley had never met the girl and was at home with his girlfriend in Manchester at the time.

He added: “It transpires that, entirely unknown to the girl, an individual from Shipley, who resembles Mr Cleverley, was impersonating him, while another individual from the same town pretended to be his bodyguard.”