FORMER Celtic player Steve Murray, whose highly promising career was

wrecked by injury, yesterday settled a #900,000 damages action out of


The terms of the settlement in Mr Murray's action against Motherwell

and the club's midfield player Jamie Dolan were not disclosed, but it is

understood that he will receive a six-figure sum.

Former Celtic players Billy McNeill and Bobby Lennox were at court to

give evidence on Mr Murray's behalf.

The Court of Session action by 25-year-old Mr Murray, of Brewlands

Drive, Symington, Ayrshire, is the third in which a Scottish footballer

has sued an opponent over a tackle.

Earlier this year, Rangers and Scotland midfield player Ian Durrant

settled a #2m action against Aberdeen and the club's former player Neil

Simpson following an incident in a game at Pitoddrie in October 1988.

In 1983, former Dunfermline player Jim Brown settled a damages action

against John Pelosi after a two-footed tackled by Pelosi in a

Dunfermline v St Johnstone match.

After yesterday's settlement, Mr Murray, who is married with an

18-month-old daughter, said the last five years had been ''terrible,


He had undergone one operation after another and he was due to have

surgery again before Christmas. Mr Murray, who still wears a leg brace,

and is unemployed, added: ''I can walk about, but anything that involves

twisting or turning I cannot do. I am very happy with the settlement and

I can now plan for the rest of my life.''

His lawyer, Mr Alistair Duff, paid tribute to Mr Murray, saying: ''He

has never given up. He is a fighter.

''Mr Duff believes there is a growing awareness in the game that

players who suffer injury from a bad tackle do not have to accept it.

They know they are entitled to some form of legal redress, and are now

seeking legal advice.''

Mr Murray's case was due to go before Lord Abernethy and a jury when

the settlement was announced.

He claimed that during a Motherwell v Celtic reserve game on September

7, 1988, he had just passed the ball when he was tackled by Mr Dolan,

who lunged at him with his foot up and studs showing.

He was struck on the right leg, just above the knee, and suffered

serious damage to nerves, tendons, and ligaments.

Mr Murray, who joined Celtic from Nottingham Forest for #50,000,

represented Scotland at under-15, under-16, and under-20 level. When he

was injured he was on the verge of breaking through into the Celtic

first team.

In their defences to the action, Motherwell and Mr Dolan maintained

that both players had gone for the ball at the same time. Both denied

that it had been a late, high tackle and claimed that Motherwell had

been awarded a free kick after the incident.

All Scottish league clubs contribute to an insurance policy which

covers pay-outs to players injured in cases where negligence is alleged.