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Gillingham lose appeal over racial discrimination claims

Gillingham Football Club will have to pay £68,000 to Mark McCammon after losing an appeal over his claim of racial discrimination.

The player made the complaint after his dismissal by the club in 2011, claiming he was refused treatment and docked wages.

The initial decision was made in August 2012, but the club lodged an appeal against the ruling, citing that his dismissal was not down to racial discrimination.

The hearing was held today (Tuesday) and a judge upheld the original tribunal's decision.

Mr McCammon, now 35, said: "It was traumatising and it sort of sabotaged my career in the football world, my progress."

"I had football clubs after me and that just deteriorated. It's very, very unfortunate."

He said the League One club had tried to "frustrate him out" by refusing to pay private medical bills to help him regain his fitness following injury when he still had eight months left on his contract.

He also said he was docked wages when he failed to turn up for training during heavy snow.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally told BBC South East: "We are confident that we dismissed Mark McCammon for the right reasons."

"It is unfortunate, very frustrating, but people associated with this football club are very well aware of the circumstances around this case and that the club is very much an equal opportunities employer."

In August last year the tribunal heard that after a falling out with then manager Andy Hessenthaler, the player was docked wages and refused medical treatment.

Mr McCammon claimed Mr Hessenthaler, who stood down as manager in 2012, had told him and two other black players to come into the ground amid "treacherous" snowy driving conditions and told them their wages would be docked if they did not, while some white players were told they were not required.

He said Mr Hessenthaler lost his temper after being accused of being "racially intolerant" by ordering the players to come in during the bad weather.

The striker was then made to attend a disciplinary hearing, subsequently receiving a letter saying he had been dismissed for 'aggressive conduct' towards the manager and racism, the tribunal was told.

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