'Adulterous' footballer can be named

A married Premier League footballer who had affairs with two women faces being named this weekend.

A married Premier League footballer who had affairs with two women faces being named this weekend.

The player has failed in a last-ditch plea for his identity to remain secret.

His lawyers asked Britain's Lord Chief Justice not to remove the cloak of anonymity until he had asked the House of Lords to consider if confidentiality laws apply to affairs outside marriage.

But Lord Woolf has ruled the footballer has run out of time and the story "would inevitably emerge irrespective of the order which the court has made."

Lord Woolf said: "One of the main reasons why the court was prepared to grant a stay was because the case was put forward in the Court of Appeal that it was one where the claimant was anxious to protect his wife and child from the damaging consequences of the publicity.

"But the claimant, it appears has himself, said something to his wife, apparently not the full story, as to what has happened."

The injunction preventing the footballer being named expires on Friday at midnight.

The footballer's identity will become known in the first moments of Saturday morning.

High Court judge Mr Justice Jack ruled in September last year that the laws of confidentiality could apply to relationships outside marriage and ordered that the Sunday People newspaper should be barred from reporting the "kiss-and-tell stories" about the footballer, who is married with two children.

The newspaper successfully appealed against the order barring publication of the interviews with the footballer's former lovers - one a lap dancer he met in a club and the other a nursery teacher who claims he used his wealth, fame and position to seduce her.

Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice, and two other top judges, heard the appeal on March 11 and ruled that granting an injunction would be "an unjustified interference with the freedom of the press".

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