In Brief

Football abuse scandal: NSPCC helpline flooded with 860 calls

Charity receives calls about historical sex assaults allegedly suffered by youth team footballers

A special NSPCC helpline has been inundated with calls from people claiming they were victims of child sex abuse while playing football.

The charity says the telephone hotline 0800 023 2642 received 860 calls in its first week. 

Operators referred 60 complainants to the police or children's services in the first three days alone - around three times the number made at the start of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The NSPCC's John Brown said it would be naive to assume the abuse was all over and that there was not "an ongoing problem in football and sport generally". 

In other developments:

David Eatock speaks out

Former Newcastle United player David Eatock, now 40, told the BBC yesterday he was abused between the ages of 18 and 21 by coach George Ormond. Ormond was convicted in 2002 of assaulting seven boys - not Eatock - and was jailed for six years.

Eatock, who has now lodged a complaint against Ormond with the police, said the abuse had left him a "shell" of his former self. 

Ormond had "preyed" on him because his father's bowel cancer had left him vulnerable, he said, adding: "I was an adult but really just a boy."

Bell 'wanted to kill abuser'

Derek Bell, another former Newcastle player, has said he "wanted to kill" Ormond, who abused him between the ages of 12 and 16 at Montagu & North Fenham boys football club in the 1970s, the Daily Express reports. 

Bell, who worked with police to bring the conviction against Ormond, told the BBC how he had encountered the coach again as an adult. 

"I went to his house with a 12-inch knife hidden in my pocket and I kicked his door in. Luckily for him, that evening, he wasn't in," he said. "I went round his house and he wasn't there."

Eric Bristow sorry for offensive tweets

Darts player Eric Bristow yesterday apologised for his tweets about abused football players, in which he called the victims "wimps" and suggested they should, as adults, attack their abusers. He was dropped as a Sky Sports pundit soon after he made the remarks.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Bristow said he had mis-spoken and wanted to encourage abuse victims to report crimes. 

"I apologise it was mis-worded," he said. "They are not wimps. They have been abused since young kids. I accept calling them wimps is deeply offensive."

Bristow said he had been vilified for his remarks. He did not apologise for using the derogatory word "poof".

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