In Brief

Football sex abuse: Three more players speak out

Another two Crewe Alexandra youth players reveal their ordeal, while claims spread to Newcastle United

Football's historic child abuse scandal widened after two more men said they had been abused by Crewe Alexandra coach Barry Bennell and a former Newcastle player revealed he had been assaulted by another man.

Former Crewe Alexandra youth players Chris Unsworth and Jason Dunford joined their one-time team-mates Andy Woodward, who was the first to speak out in an interview with The Guardian last week, and Steve Walters, who has also gone public about his ordeal, on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning.

Woodward wept as Unsworth revealed he had been raped up to 100 times by Bennell.

"I didn't know what was going on to be fair - I knew what I wanted to get [out of football] and I thought this is what I had to go through. I knew it was wrong but I just went with it," said Unsworth, who is to be interviewed by Cheshire Police about the abuse.

Dunford said he was assaulted by Bennell at a holiday camp and that another coach had also attempted to abuse him.

"Neither player turned professional," says the BBC, "in part because they felt Bennell drove them away from the game."

The Guardian reports "the escalating story of sexual abuse in football is now threatening to take in Newcastle United after a former player contacted the police to allege he was another victim on the back of growing concerns about a possible paedophile ring in the sport".

The paper does not identify the player, but says he named his offender as George Ormond, "a man who has already had a six-year prison sentence for a string of convictions involving boys from the club’s youth system over a 24-year period".

An NSPCC football hotline set up for victims received more than 50 calls on its first morning, reports the Daily Telegraph, and information from 20 people has been passed on to police.

In addition, "Manchester City [have] launched an investigation into links between Bennell and the club, and Crewe Alexandra's ex-manager and director of football, Dario Gradi, denied any knowledge that his long-time colleague raped young players there and elsewhere during the 1980s and 1990s," says the paper.

The FA has also written to 30,000 football clubs in the wake of the allegations and pledged its full support to the victims.

There are fears Bennell "could be football’s answer to Jimmy Savile", says The Sun. "At the heart of the scandal are disturbing claims of a sinister paedophile ring with convicted pervert Bennell at the centre."

The paper adds there are "serious questions to answer for the long-serving management of Crewe Alexandra".

Football sexual abuse: David White says he was also a victim

24 November

Another England footballer has come forward to say he was abused by a coach when he was a child.

Former Manchester City star David White, who scored the club's first goal in the Premier League, has written a book detailing the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of convicted paedophile Barry Bennell. 

In a statement, he said: "For a number of reasons, and for nearly two decades, I kept my ordeal secret from my family and friends. While I believe throughout my football career I have come to terms with what had happened, I now realise the effects of Bennell's actions were much more far reaching than I knew then."

He also saluted the other players who have spoken out.

White is "the fourth former player to waive his right to anonymity and the third to name the same man as his abuser", says the Daily Telegraph.

"[He] went public on the same day that police revealed the number of people to have come forward about alleged sexual abuse within football had reached double figures."

Former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward broke his silence in an interview with The Guardian last week. He has since said he fears the abuse could be on the same scale as the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Since then, former team-mate Steve Walters and England midfielder Paul Stewart have also gone public, while the Football Association has set up a hotline for other victims.

There are now fears there was "a nationwide paedophile ring" operating within football, says the Daily Mail.

Bennell "was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1998 after admitting 23 specimen charges of sexual offences against six boys aged nine to 15, with another 22 offences left on file", reports the Guardian. "He previously served a four-sentence in Florida for offences against a boy on a football tour and was jailed for two years in May 2015 for molesting a 12-year-old in Macclesfield in 1980. He is currently out on licence and believed to be living in Milton Keynes."

Paul Stewart tells of abuse as fears of paedophile ring grow

23 November

Former England footballer Paul Stewart says he was sexually abused by a youth coach when he was child, adding to fears of a paedophile ring operating in football in the north-west during the 1970s and 80s.

The midfielder, who earned three international caps and played for the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, told the Daily Mirror he was assaulted every day between the ages of 11 and 15.

"One day, travelling in the car, he started to touch me," he said. "It frightened me to death, did not know what to do, I tried to tell my parents not to let him in but I was only 11.

"From then, it progressed to sexually abusing me, he said he would kill my mother, my father, my two brothers if I breathed a word about it. And at 11 years old, you believe that."

Stewart continued: "The mental scars led me into other problems with drink and drugs. I know now it was a grooming process. The level of abuse got worse and worse.”

He added that the coach forced him and another child to perform "sexual acts", saying: "Another lad who was four years older than me told me he was abused."

Now a businessman in his hometown of Blackpool, he has broken his silence "in the hope more victims will come forward", says the paper.

The revelations come a week after former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward waived his anonymity to tell The Guardian about the abuse he suffered under jailed coach Barry Bennell.

Stewart is the most high-profile footballer to speak out since then, but at least six others have contacted police and the paper says there are "potentially hundreds" of other victims.

Woodward, speaking on Good Morning Britain, said the revelations could be "potentially worse" than the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The Football Association has set up a hotline for other victims who have suffered abuse. There are fears of an avalanche of allegations.

It is feared that Bennell, who now goes by the name Richard Jones and has dozens of convictions for child abuse, could have "hundreds" of victims and "colluded for a long time with at least one other paedophile who has never been detected", says the Guardian.


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