On the opening day of Harry Kewell’s London High Court libel hearing, it was
claimed that Gary Lineker’s 2003 Sunday Telegraph column that attacked Kewell’s
transfer from Leeds to Liverpool, left the Aussie footballer feeling “hurt and humiliated.”

Kewell’s counsel,
Andrew Monson, claimed the offending article was “particularly damaging
because it came from the mouth of an extremely well-known and respected
presenter of Match of the Day – someone readers would expect to be well-informed and authoritative on matters
to do with football.”

reports that Monson argued Lineker had accused Kewell of being “a
fool” and implied he was a knave – “that is, that he was guilty of
dishonourable conduct,” and that by further implication, Kewell had
“naively and stupidly allowed [his manager] to manipulate him to his
financial detriment.”

taking the stand himself, told the court he was shocked by Lineker’s attack on
him: “When
I read the article I felt like I was badly assaulted. I was shocked. I was
amazed by what he said because he had led me to believe there was nothing
between us and I can’t believe he said something like that.”

claimed he had taken the matter to court because he “did not want people out there to
think I brought shame on the game – that my transfer blackened the game. I need
the truth to be out there, that I did nothing wrong.”

is seeking unlimited damages, with Lineker and the Sunday Telegraph denying any
libel and claiming “fair comment” as their defence. The case naturally is attracting
huge UK
media attention as it’s expected to provide some intriguing insights into the
frequently murky waters of Premier League transfers and how clubs and player
agents do business.