Footballer wins substantial damages from The Manchester Evening News for “match-fixing” photo libel

The Manchester Evening News has agreed to pay over £30,000 in damages and costs to Stevenage FC footballer Jon Ashton after wrongly using his image to illustrate a story about alleged match-fixing.

The photograph of the 31 year old defender was used to accompany a story published online on 8 December 2013 – despite Jon Ashton never having been involved in or associated with match fixing.

The Manchester Evening News has accepted that the use of the photograph was wrong and that it had no defence, agreeing to settle the matter out of court.

The newspaper has published an apology to the former Premiership player, which read: “On 8 December 2013 we published an article about an allegation of match-fixing by Cristian Montano, who was then playing for Oldham Athletic FC. The picture that accompanied the article was of Jon Ashton of Stevenage FC.
“This was an error which has now been rectified. Mr Ashton is not connected with this story or any allegation of match-fixing. We apologise to Mr Ashton for our mistake and the embarrassment and confusion caused as a result.”

Jon Ashton said: “I am pleased that the Manchester Evening News has now apologised for wrongly identifying me in its story, and agreed to pay damages and my legal costs.
“It’s good to have set the record straight.”
Mr Ashton’s lawyer, Nick McAleenan of JMW Solicitors LLP, said: “Jon Ashton has spent many years building an excellent reputation in football. This incident threatened Jon’s good name and so it was important to take action.
“By securing this well-deserved apology and damages, Jon has successfully cleared his name.  He and can now put this unfortunate episode behind him and focus on the new season ahead”.


For more information:

Samantha Meakin

0161 828 1981

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is one of the leading Manchester law firms and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.  We are committed to providing legal services in a cost effective and timely manner.

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