Stevenage defender given £30,000 after ‘match-fixing’ error

Jon Ashton. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Jon Ashton. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

A footballer has been given £30,000 in damages after a newspaper ran a story suggesting he was involved in match-fixing.

The Manchester Evening News has agreed to pay Stevenage defender Jon Ashton the sum after printing his picture alongside a match-fixing article.

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

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

An apology was issued to the 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.”