Mr Drury, the former chairman of bookmakers Paddy Power, said Given made a verbal agreement to pay him “a reasonable commission” of his contract if he signed with a club the agent introduced him too, but that he hasn’t received a penny.

He claims Given and his solicitor froze him out of the deal with Manchester City, a contract he understands to be worth more than £17m, with a weekly wage of £75,000 over four and a half years.

And while he wants 3% – £526,500 – he’ll accept half of that, £263,250.

The writ comes in the week that former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins won a High Court battle with his former management company NVA, which sued him for £300,000. Given, the 33-year-old Irish international, was a mainstay of the Newcastle United squad, stacking up more than 450 appearances after first joining in 1997.

Born in County Donegal, he set up home in Morpeth’s upmarket Tranwell Woods, where he lived with his wife Jane and their two young children, calling his home Celtic Manor to reflect his Irish roots.

Then on January 2, 2009, came the bombshell that brought heartbreak to thousands of supporters – and to the player himself – when his long-standing representative and solicitor Michael Kennedy announced “Shay feels compelled to consider his position” following the club’s 5-1 defeat to Liverpool, which he described as “the lowest point of his football career”.

Court papers filed by Fintan Drury’s company Platinum One Ltd in the High Court in London, however, imply Given had been contemplating quitting United over 11 weeks before the January announcement.

Mr Drury claims Given first instructed him to seek out new clubs from a shortlist he had drawn up at a meeting at the Irish International Team hotel, Portmarnock, Ireland, on October 13, 2008.

It was agreed Michael Kennedy would stay on as the player’s solicitor and any commission would be split between the two of them.

The meeting came during an international break eight days after the Magpies drew against Everton in Joe Kinnear’s first match as caretaker manager.

Mr Drury’s documents say he sought interest from other clubs.

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