Rugby player’s bum deal

Keith Mason at court
Keith Mason at court

A rugby star who was sacked over a picture of teammate’s bottom that was posted on Twitter has sued his club for £167,000.

Huddersfield Giant’s prop Keith Mason, of Heaton Avenue, Dewsbury, was sacked by the club in October, a few weeks after a picture of former teammate Scott Moore’s bottom was posted on his Twitter account.

On Wednesday a high court judge sitting in Leeds indicted that Mr Mason would be awarded damages of £167,000 after he found the star, who now plays for Castleford Tigers, had been wrongfully dismissed from the Super League club.

Mr Mason, 31, who was supported by his boxer pal Joe Calzaghe, maintained they wanted to get rid of him because of his expensive contract and that the picture - which led to him being dismissed for gross misconduct - was a smokescreen.

The picture had only stayed posted on his account for 48 hours.

Mr Mason had played for the club for seven seasons and was fired with nearly three years left on his contract. The player claimed he was sacked by the club to free up space in the salary cap for the club’s new players, who played in his position.

The court heard previously that Mr Mason believed the timing of his dismissal was suspicious as the new players had been signed over the summer.

At the time of his dismissal he was one of the team’s highest paid players, with a yearly salary of £95,000.

Speaking at Leeds High Court His Honour Mr Justice Saffman said:“I’m not convinced that this Tweet can been seen to be inextricably linked to the club.

“I think it is very unlikely that anyone seeing this Tweet would assume that the Tweet is condoned by the club.

“Therefore I have no difficulty in finding the claimant has established on balance that this was a wrongful dismissal.

“I am satisfied that the club was keen for the claimant to go,” said Mr Justice Saffman.

The court heard that the photograph was taken as the team celebrated after the final game of last season during a three-day “communal bender” known in the rugby league world as ‘Mad Monday’.

The court was told previously that Mr Mason’s girlfriend was looking through pictures on his iPhone and uploaded the picture on to his Twitter account, to which he had around 4,200 followers, with the comment “what the hell is this”.

The club, despite admitting it was posted without Mr Mason’s knowledge, said he brought them into disrepute by not deleting it soon enough.

Speaking after the judgement Mr Mason said: “I can draw a line under it my life and justice has been served.”