Moyes wins libel pay-out after Rooney book claim

June 3, 2008

Everton manager David Moyes accepted 'substantial', undisclosed libel damages today over a 'wholly untrue' allegation in Wayne Rooney's autobiography that he leaked details of a confidential conversation with the striker.

Moyes, who sued Rooney, his co-author Hunter Davies and HarperCollins, the publishers of Wayne Rooney - My Story So Far, also received a public apology at a hearing at the High Court in London.

Solicitor Edward Parladorio, for Moyes, told Mr Justice Eady that his client, manager of Everton since February 2002, was accused of 'a serious breach of trust towards a young player under his management'.

He said Moyes was accused of leaking the contents of a private and confidential conversation, during which Rooney stated his intention to leave Everton 'and the city of Liverpool by reason of intense press coverage of his personal life', to a local newspaper.

After the brief hearing, Moyes said in a statement: 'I am glad that these issues have now been resolved and that my name has been fully cleared in this matter.

'Anyone who knows me well would, I hope, regard me as a man of honour and integrity.

'I was disappointed and wanted people to know that what had been written was completely untrue.

'I felt that I had no choice but to take action for a full apology and damages.

'Having accepted these, I do not intend to make any financial gain from this and shall give that to the Everton Former Players Foundation.

'All of the above said, we have now moved on and I wish Wayne and his family all the best for the future both on the field and off it.'

During the hearing Mr Parladorio told the judge that there was 'no breach of confidence or betrayal of trust by Mr Moyes'.

The lawyer added: 'Happily, Mr Rooney, Mr Davies and HarperCollins Publishing Limited appear here today by their solicitor to acknowledge that they were mistaken and publicly withdraw the allegation and apologise.

'The defendants have also agreed to pay Mr Moyes a substantial sum in damages and his legal costs.'

Sarah Toolan, solicitor for the defendants, told the judge: 'All defendants accept that the allegation to which my friend has referred was untrue and sincerely apologise to Mr Moyes for the distress and embarrassment caused.'

Ian Monk, spokesman for Wayne Rooney, revealed afterwards that 'all costs and damages in this case are being met by the publishers'.

It is understood to have been the first time that a Premier League manager has sued one of his former players for libel.