Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

FOOTY-MAD FAMILY WINS LEGAL FIGHT; Club Settles as Dad Sues over Shirt

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

FOOTY-MAD FAMILY WINS LEGAL FIGHT; Club Settles as Dad Sues over Shirt

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW PAIN

A TEESSIDE football fan is celebrating winning a refund for a replica shirt after a club sold his son's favourite player.

Billingham dad James McGhee was preparing for a courtroom battle over the issue until Reading FC offered to settle out of court.

Mr McGhee and his teenage son Jon are Reading fans and in July the youngster used pounds 42 of his birthday money to buy a shirt with the name of his hero Gylfi Sigurdsson on the back.

But a month later the club sold the player to German club Hoffenheim, so St Michael's Secondary pupil Jon, 13, no longer wanted it.

Mr McGhee, 49, rang Reading to ask for a refund but was told it wasn't possible.

"Sigurdsson is a fantastic young player and signed a contract extension in May and we were told he was staying," said Mr McGhee, an operations manager.

"The next game my lad says 'I can't wear my shirt. I'm not wearing it with that name on the back'.

"That really, really bothered me. I felt really sorry for him.

"I asked them to replace the shirt as a gesture of goodwill but they just kept quoting their terms and conditions.

"At the end of the day we are all football fans and know players come and go but it was the nature of the way it all happened with him signing a three-year contract and us being told he was staying. That wound me up."

Mr McGhee took out a civil case against Reading which was set to be heard at Middlesbrough County Court.

"Someone mentioned the Misrepresentation Act to me," he said. "I didn't have a solicitor but I think I had an interesting argument. Most people just accept things and get trodden on but eventually someone stands up and says I'm not having it anymore.

"If I am in the right I will always fight my corner. In this case I felt really, really hard done by."

He then received a letter from Reading FC saying they would settle the matter but Mr McGhee was keen to have his day in court. …

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