AN amateur sportsman who had to give up the pursuits he loved after an accident at work was yesterday awarded almost $1 million in damages by a High Court judge. Former plumber Tse Hoi-cheung, 41, used to enjoy basketball, swimming, cycling, jogging and other sporting activities, said Mr Justice Barnett. But after suffering serious injuries to his back and ankles when he fell 20 metres while working on the Macau Ferry Terminal site in 1986, Mr Tse has been left with recurring pains. Mr Tse suffered his injuries on January 11, 1986, while working on a water pipe on the seventh floor. He fell into an air-conditioning duct when planks on which he was standing shifted. The judge said he needed an assortment of plates, pins and screws inserted into his left leg. He was discharged from hospital in February 1986 and went to a rehabilitation centre where he received physiotherapy and other treatment. When discharged from the centre in July 1986, Mr Tse was walking with a stick. He still feels pain from time to time and has to consult a doctor. The judge said someone in a supervisory capacity from Mr Tse's employers at the time of the accident, Luen Yick Water and Drainage Works Ltd, should have checked that a proper platform had been provided for him to work on. The judge found that the company was in breach of its duty of care to Mr Tse. He also ruled that the principal contractor, Hip Hing Construction Co Ltd, was 'very technically' in breach of safety regulations. But he dismissed Mr Tse's claim against air-conditioning sub-contractor Young's Engineering Co Ltd. The judge said he considered Mr Tse to be 30 per cent responsible for the accident because, as an experienced plumber, it should have been obvious to him that the planks were not safe. He awarded total damages of $969,193 to Mr Tse.