Former Sunday People investigative reporter Brian Radford had a long-awaited gift on Christmas Eve when he received damages for wrongful dismissal from the World Snooker Association.
His case against the association, which began in 1999, was helped by the anonymous sender of a document which named him as "a scapegoat" in the WSA’s libel wrangle with BBC commentator and editor of Snooker Scene, Clive Everton.
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Everton accepted £65,000 in damages in an out-of-court settlement from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, its former chairman Rex Williams and the WPBSA’s then media relations manager, Radford, in 1999.
Radford’s settlement for wrongful dismissal came three days before it was due to be heard in court.
He told Press Gazette: "I struck lucky when a brown envelope containing an extract from an official WPBSA inquiry dropped through my letterbox. The extract stated: ‘BR’s dismissal could provide an opportunity for a settlement (with) both the WPBSA and CE, using him (Radford) as a scapegoat …’
Radford said: "I couldn’t believe my eyes. To whoever sent it to me, I say ‘Thanks a billion’."
He added he was under orders not to discuss any details about his action, in which he was supported by the NUJ.
Radford was head of media at the association from August, 1998, until April, 1999, and edited its monthly magazine, Pot Black.
In the intervening two and a half years, he has resolutely fought to establish that the WPBSA’s action in sacking him was wrong.
"It was a hard fight. After 20 years as a media investigator, I had the experience to cope. "Heaven forbid the guys who have no knowledge of this minefield," he said.
By Jean Morgan