Football sex abuse claims: More former players speak out

Dhaka,  Wed,  07 December 2016
Published : 25 Nov 2016, 18:13:36

Football sex abuse claims: More former players speak out

Four ex-footballers have appeared together in an emotional interview to tell of their torment after being abused as children by a coach.

Andy Woodward, who was the first to go public last week, wept as Chris Unsworth and Jason Dunford spoke for the first time of being abused by ex-Crewe Alexandra coach Barry Bennell.

Mr Unsworth said he "never told a soul" that he was raped up to 100 times, reports BBC.

Barry Bennell, 62, has served three jail sentences for child sex offences.

Since Mr Woodward's story emerged, several ex-players have made allegations about being sexually abused by coaches as children - a number of them by Bennell, who is currently living in Milton Keynes.

A dedicated NSPCC hotline - 0800 023 2642 - was set up after the abuse claims came to light and received more than 50 calls within its first two hours.

The prime minister's spokesman commended the former footballers for their bravery in speaking out and said that the allegations deserved to be treated with "full seriousness".

Mr Unsworth, 44, said he had decided to waive his right to anonymity after his girlfriend showed him an interview on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme with ex-Crewe player Mr Woodward, 43.

Mr Unsworth told Victoria Derbyshire on Friday: "I thought I've got to come forward... and help everybody."

He had been a youth player at Manchester City with Bennell before moving to Crewe with him when he was about 12 in the mid-1980s.

He said he had stayed at Bennell's house several times and Bennell sometimes had two or three boys in the bed at once, where he would abuse them.

"We never spoke to each other about it," Mr Unsworth said. "I was raped between 50 and 100 times."

He said he had been nine years old when the abuse started.

"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," he said.

He left football aged 16 and became a professional golfer. He has now spoken to Cheshire Police and is waiting to be interviewed by them.

Mr Unsworth said: "Both my parents have died and that hurts me, not telling them. I don't know if it was a good thing… because they would have blamed themselves". - IH

 
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