A former Tottenham apprentice has won a High Court damages case after he suffered a heart attack while playing for the club’s youth team in August 2006.
Radwan Hamed, who was 17 at the time of the incident, suffered a cardiac arrest playing against Cercle Brugge in Belgium just three days after signing professional terms with the club.
Unlike Fabrice Muamba, who made a full recovery after suffering a heart attack on the White Hart Lane pitch in 2012, Hamed sustained catastrophic brain damage.
His father Raymon Hamed claimed his injuries had resulted from the negligence of cardiologist Dr Peter Mills, who screened his son, and of the club – through Dr Charlotte Cowie and Dr Mark Curtin, specialist sports physicians it employed.
Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled Tottenham to be 70 per cent liable and Dr Mills the remaining 30 per cent, ruling that Dr Cowie made a serious error of judgment when she concluded that the teenager bore no risk of an adverse cardiac event.
“On any view, this was tragedy writ large,” said Mr Justice Hickinbottom in London.
Damages, which could reach £7m, will be decided in due course.
A Tottenham spokesman said: “The club wholeheartedly regrets that a former employee, as adjudged, was remiss in their duties to Radwan.
“This judgment will hopefully now secure the best possible treatment and care for him. The club has been supportive of Radwan and his family over the past 10 years and we wish them well for the future.”
A statement from Mr Hamed’s legal representative read: “My client suffered catastrophic brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest which today’s judgement confirmed was entirely avoidable.
“The FA has a screening programme which requires that clubs ensure their young players undergo tests for cardiac conditions such as the silent, and well-documented, life-threatening heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
“Both the doctors employed and instructed by Spurs failed in their duty of care to Radwan with devastating results.
“Radwan and his parents were not even given the privilege of knowing that his test results had been returned showing abnormal results. Had they been afforded the right to this crucial information, Rad would not have continued playing.
“Instead, specialist doctors told his parents that there was nothing to worry about and he sadly collapsed having suffered a cardiac arrest just 11 months later.
Today’s judgement serves as a clear message to all sporting organisations. Radwan Hamed is lucky to be alive.”