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<P class=first>For those of you with friends in Her Majesty's Forces, thank your Lucky Stars they aren't British!

An injured soldier says he has been warned he could miss out on a £25,000 insurance payout - because he carried out the Carling Cup at Wembley. (This is an association football tournament for English league clubs)Private Dave Tatlock, 20, from Manchester, took the trophy on to the pitch in February - almost two years after he was badly wounded in Afghanistan.

He said he had been in line to receive compensation but the insurance company, Abacus, was now reviewing his claim.

Veterans minister Kevan Jones said Abacus had made a "crass decision".

No-one from the company could be contacted for comment.

Pte Tatlock, from 2 Para, said: "I don't know why they have tried to do it... words cannot express how angry I am."

The soldier, from Gorton, was left temporarily paralysed when he was hit by shrapnel in a friendly fire incident involving an Apache helicopter in July 2008.

Doctors told him he was unlikely to walk again but the soldier battled back and can now move with the aid of a stick.

He lost the use of his calves and has severe nerve damage. He has no use of his left foot, wears a splint to walk and can only move his right foot slightly.

"My calves don't work, my hips don't work properly, my glutes [buttock muscles] don't work properly - waist down is just messed up basically," he told BBC News.

Pte Tatlock had taken out £56-a-month private cover with Abacus before being deployed to Afghanistan.

But more than a month after millions of television viewers watched him step out at Wembley, Pte Tatlock said Abacus contacted his rehabilitation centre at Headley Court in Surrey to say it was reviewing his claim for compensation for losing the use of his left foot.

Pte Tatlock said the centre contacted his mother, who then relayed the news to him.

'Absolute disgrace'

She said Abacus told Headley Court it was "not going to pay out because I walked on to the pitch with the Carling Cup unaided", the soldier explained.

"So some jobsworth somewhere has seen me walk out on to the pitch," he said.

"He's seen me walk out with the cup without my stick and thought: 'Well, he's lying', which was pretty hard to understand.

"I'm not lying. My case notes are there.

"I pay the premium and I was the third person to find out about it. I was just really, really angry about what happened."

Pte Tatlock contacted Abacus and said he was later told by a manager that the company was looking at his case and was just waiting for medical notes.

But he is still to discover whether he will be receive an insurance payout.

"The damage has already been done," the soldier added.

The veterans minister said Abacus faced some questions from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

"Treating a brave and injured serviceman in this way is an absolute disgrace," said Mr Jones.

"As a matter of urgency I will be asking the company to explain their crass decision."

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