Daniel Sturridge has been ordered to pay £22,400 to a man who found his lost dog.
The former Liverpool striker said the pet was stolen from a house in Los Angeles in 2019 and offered a reward for its return.
The Pomeranian, named Lucci, was found by local musician Foster Washington who shared pictures on social media and helped reunite Sturridge with his dog.
Sturridge had pleaded for the return of his dog on social media in July 2019, while the story also featured on some news outlets in the US.
When he was reunited with Lucci he was “absolutely delighted” and thanked people for raising awareness on social media.
A Los Angeles court has now ordered Sturridge to pay Washington 30,085 US dollars after he did not honour the reward.
Court documents obtained by the PA news agency show a default judgment was given, meaning Sturridge did not answer to the complaint.
Mr Washington, whose rapper name is Killa Fame, said he felt “let down” by Sturridge.
“Hopefully he pays up and doesn’t try to appeal it,” he told PA.
“I’m excited about it, I’ve been fighting this case for over a year, I can’t believe it’s over. When we found the dog I thought my life was going to be better.”
Mr Washington added he had yet to arrange the payment with Sturridge.
One of my team mates caught Covid so unfortunately the whole squad has to hotel quarantine in Brisbane for 14 days and potentially spend Christmas alone in a hotel room. Hopefully we find a solution and can move forward with the beautiful game. Stay safe and healthy y’all ❤️
— Daniel Sturridge (@DanielSturridge) December 17, 2021
In October Sturridge signed for Perth Glory on a free transfer, 19 months after he left Turkish side Trabzonspor.
The 32-year-old former England striker had been out of the game since March 2020 after being handed a four-month ban for breaching the FA’s gambling regulations.
On December 17 Sturridge put a message on Twitter to say the squad would have to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine in Brisbane after a team-mate got coronavirus.
Representatives for Sturridge have been contacted for comment.