Bobby Womack has been accused of ruining budding musician Mark Thomas's career after stealing his song YOU'RE THE ONE.

During a stint supporting rocker Chris Rea in 1988 Thomas and his band repeatedly performed the song live and released it as a UK single - despite it failing to chart. Thomas then heard an identical version of the track renamed CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP, credited to soul artist Womack.

But despite a British court ruling Womack should pay out $102,000 (GBP57,000), Thomas fears he'll never receive the money because UK royalty rulings aren't recognised in America.

The unemployed singer/songwriter says, "Womack stated that the song never had any information about who recorded the song. If my name had appeared on the Womack album it would have been a huge boost for my career."