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Callum Saunders was caught scoring a goal for Haywards Heath Town. Soccer AM; Hayward Heaths Town FC

  • A soccer player trying to claim $75,000 in insurance was caught out after he was featured on TV.
  • Callum Saunders had claimed he could barely walk as the result of a car crash when a goal he scored was shown on Soccer AM. 
  • “In the end, it turned out to be a massive own goal,” said lawyer Damian Rourke.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A semi-professional soccer player who was trying to claim $75,000 in insurance for an injury sustained in a car crash was caught out when a goal he scored was shown on TV.

Callum Saunders, now 33, made a large claim from his insurer Aviva in 2017 after being injured in a car crash in the city of Brighton. 

He claimed that injuries to his foot meant he could neither stand nor walk for long periods of time

However, while investigating his claim, Aviva discovered that a goal Saunders had scored for Haywards Heath Town during the period in which he claimed he was injured was featured on TV magazine show Soccer AM, according to The Times of England.

A clip of the goal is still available on Soccer AM’s Twitter page:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1093600287129067520&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.insider.com%2Fsoccer-player-75000-insurance-caught-out-goal-shown-on-tv-2021-7&sessionId=d6d9a3b02e6a84e8b3d8817f637cf9e4469af70f&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Footage of the goal was used in evidence at Gloucester and Cheltenham county court to prove that Saunders was exaggerating the extent of his injuries. The goal was scored with Saunders’ right foot, the foot he claimed was injured.

In his claim, Saunders said that he had not been able to work as a self-employed plasterer for over six months, reports The Times.

Investigators working for insurance company Aviva discovered that alongside his appearance on TV, Saunders’ social media accounts contained many posts about his appearances for the club.https://6465b921d368a886e1071486875eb548.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

He was also featured playing on the club’s YouTube channel on numerous occasions while claiming he was injured.

Confronted with the evidence, Saunders agreed his claim had been fundamentally dishonest and agreed to a court order to withdraw his insurance claim and pay $7,000 (£5,000) in costs. 

Damian Rourke, the partner at the law firm which conducted the investigation, said, according to local paper The Argus: “Callum Saunders may well have been feeling happy about his Soccer AM appearance but, in the end, it turned out to be a massive own goal.

“Our investigation showed that he behaved dishonestly. In hindsight, you have to ask how he thought he’d get away with it after constantly posting and tweeting about his football performances.

“The law is very clear: if you exaggerate an injury for financial gain, the court can dismiss the claim and punish you.”

Rob Lee, the head of casualty claims at Aviva, described Saunders’ false claim as “a shocking example of opportunistic greed.”