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Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

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Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by Doug D on 22.11.16 9:04

Three longish articles from the Guardian from the last couple of days.
 
Even if you only read the first one, it gives a chilling insight into the sort of ongoing trauma these victims go through. As for his young sister then marrying the man!
 
As a matter of note, Gary Speed was the Welsh international footballer/manager who committed suicide in 2011, and although no mention of this as a possible underlying reason were given at the time, the comments from Bennell to the Sunday Times in 2012 seem to suggest that maybe they should have been.
 
Andy Woodward: ‘It was the softer, weaker boys he targeted’
 
The former professional footballer, who is now 43, is finally able to talk publicly about the horrific abuse he suffered from the age of 11 by one of his coaches, in the hope that others will come forward too
 
Daniel Taylor

@DTguardian
 
Wednesday 16 November 2016 11.00 GMT
 
It isn’t easy sitting opposite Andy Woodward and hearing, close up, the unspeakable horrors of his childhood and the reasons why, at the age of 43, he finally feels able to tell his story and free himself from the secret – “the massive, horrible burden” – that has shaped his life.
It has been there since the age of 11 when a football-daft kid from a family of Manchester United supporters first came to the attention of the coach, scout and serial paedophile Barry Bennell and it is difficult even to contemplate how much Woodward has suffered before reaching this point where he has offered to waive his anonymity and speak publicly about it for the first time.
 
He is doing so in the belief there are many others – potentially hundreds, he says – who are living with their own secrets, given Bennell’s employment at Crewe Alexandra in the 1980s and 1990s and close association in the past with Stoke City and Manchester City, as well as junior teams in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
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. Woodward was among the victims at Crewe and knows of other former pros who were targeted. Many more, he suspects, never made it as professional footballers, whereas his own career, also featuring spells at Bury, Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United, ended at the age of 29 because he was unable to cope with the horrendous aftereffects of what he had to endure.
Woodward had to fake an injury during one game because he was having the kind of panic attack that became a regular feature in his career. He has been suicidal “on probably 10 occasions”. He has spent his professional life battling depression and anxiety, and is haunted by what a man who described himself in legal proceedings as a “monster” told him about some of the other victims.
“My life has been ruined until the age of 43,” Woodward says. “But how many others are there? I’m talking about hundreds of children who Barry Bennell cherry-picked for various football teams and who now, as adults, might still be living with that awful fear.
“We’ve seen with the Jimmy Savile case how people have had the courage, yet I’d say within the football world it’s even harder to speak out. Only now, at the age of 43, I feel I can actually live without that secret and that massive, horrible burden. I want to get it out and give other people an opportunity to do the same. I want to give people strength. I survived it. I lost my career, which was a massive thing for me, but I’m still here. I came through the other side. Other people can have that strength.”
 
Woodward’s ordeal began when he was playing for Stockport Boys and Bennell invited him to train with one of his teams on Manchester City’s pitches at Platt Lane. Bennell talent-spotted boys, aged nine to 14, around the north-west and Midlands over three decades and Woodward was talented enough to be directed towards Crewe’s youth setup. “I just wanted to play football. My mum and dad will say that I always had a football in my hands, wherever I went. I saw Crewe as the start of that dream. But I was soft-natured, too, and it was the softer, weaker boys Bennell targeted.”
Bennell arranged for him to stay at his house on the edge of the Peak District. “It was like a treasure trove, a child’s dream,” Woodward says. “When you walked through the door there were three fruit machines. He had a pool table. There was a little monkey upstairs in a cage who would sit on your shoulder. He had two pyrenean mountain dogs. He even kept a wild cat. It was my dream, remember, to be a footballer and it was like he was dropping little sweets towards me: ‘You can stay with me and this is what I can do for you.’ Plus he had a reputation as the best youth coach in the country. So I’d stay at weekends and summer holidays and even take time out of school sometimes. I’d go to all the Crewe matches with him. He liked dark-haired boys. I was a kid, I trusted him to begin with.”
When the abuse started, Bennell used threats and blackmail to make sure his victims did not go against him. “What he’d do sometimes, to show the fear factor and make sure I never told anyone, was get out some nunchucks,” Woodward says. “He was a master with them. He’d tell me to hold out a piece of paper. I’d be physically shaking. Then he’d hit it with enough force to split it in half and make a little comment: ‘You see what I can do, you see how powerful I am?’
“It was either threats of violence or he’d use football to manipulate control. If I upset him in any way, he’d drop me from the team. ‘At any point,’ he’d tell me, ‘you will go, you will disappear and that dream won’t happen.’ It was emotional blackmail, all the time.”
 
The young Woodward became “very introverted, I didn’t lead a normal teenage life”. Yet there are other parts of this story that make it even more chilling. When Woodward was 14, Bennell started having a relationship with his victim’s 16-year-old sister. “He was so much older he didn’t want people to know at first and told me I would never play football again if I breathed a word of it,” Woodward says. “I was frightened to death because he had complete power over me by that stage. It was like a double whammy and he would try to abuse me sometimes even with my sister in the same house. Later, when their relationship became public, he would come round for Sunday dinner every weekend, sitting with my mum and dad and my family, laughing and joking. I was so frightened of him I just had to suffer in silence.”
 
The wedding took place in 1991 and Woodward, at 18, had to go through the hellish ordeal of seeing the man who had exploited, controlled and abused him for years become his brother‑in‑law. “I had to live with that on top of everything else,” he says. “I had to attend that wedding, standing in the church when I really wanted to rip his throat out. It was torture – that’s the only word to describe it.”
Despite everything, Woodward progressed through the ranks at Crewe and made his first-team debut a year later. Mentally, however, he could not cope. “From the age of 11 I had lived with a secret. And living with a secret is probably one of the hardest things you can ever live with. If you look at my career you will see I was plagued with quite a few injuries. A lot of those injuries were actually mental injuries.
“I had desperately wanted to be a footballer. It’s all I lived for. Yet there was so much anger and hurt within me that it was actually football, this game I loved, that took away my life as a child. It felt like I was in two worlds. I’d be training when I just wanted to burst into tears. A coach might be screaming and shouting and all I wanted to do is punch him in the face because ‘you’ve no idea what you coaches have done to me’. There have been lots of dips.”
He signed for Bury in 1995 and after a productive first season at Gigg Lane everything started to unravel again. “At one point during the police investigation I went to see [the manager] Stan Ternent in his office and explained what had happened to me. It was hard because us footballers are supposed to be butch and strong, aren’t we? It’s all banter and changing-room jokes, supposedly. But I’d been having a mental breakdown. I’d lost a couple of years and I felt I had to tell him.”
One of Bennell’s victims had reported him and the Cheshire, Derbyshire and North Wales police forces began an investigation that also involved allegations of him preying on boys on football courses in Spain and the United States, as well as at the Butlin’s in Pwllheli. The judge talked of Bennell exploiting the power he had to “point young boys in the right direction and help them with their careers and wishes to become successful footballers. They were prepared to do almost anything you asked.”
The hearing at Chester crown court was told one of Bennell’s offences took place on one of Crewe’s training pitches. Another occurred at the home of Dario Gradi, the club’s manager, though the court heard Gradi did not know about it. One of Bennell’s tricks was to encourage boys to stay in his bedroom by frightening them with horror films or ghost stories. He was initially charged with 45 offences, including buggery and attempted buggery, but 22 were allowed to lie on file.
 
Woodward was 24 when Bennell was jailed. “For the next two seasons I played some of the best football of my career. Maybe I felt I had got it off my chest and I could finally get on with my life. I was kidding myself but for a while I had loads of positive energy. Neil Warnock had taken over as manager and in November 1999 he told me he was going to Sheffield United. ‘I’m going to take you and [the goalkeeper] Paddy Kenny,’ he said, ‘you’re the only ones I want, my best two players.’ It was a chance for me to play for a bigger club, even though I loved it at Bury. I went shopping at Tesco that Sunday night and – boom – I don’t know what hit me. I genuinely thought I was going to collapse and die. My heart was racing. All the adrenaline had rushed to my head. I managed to get home, called an ambulance and went to hospital and they explained it was a panic attack.”
 
The following week, Bury played at Gillingham and it hit him again. “The match reports will say I pulled my hamstring but that was just the excuse I used. I’d actually had another full‑blown panic attack. We were midway through the first half. I went down to my knees and I just knew I had to get off the pitch. I went to the dressing room and started crying my eyes out, thinking my whole life was ending.”
He did confide in Warnock and, as with Ternent, will always be grateful for his manager’s support. Yet the player did not feel able to tell his team‑mates. “In 2016, at least people have an understanding of anxiety and panic attacks. Back then, I suffered in silence. That was the way football was – and it was horrendous.”
Woodward did eventually move to Bramall Lane but he had been receiving treatment in the Priory clinic and his medication affected his weight and fitness. He made only three league appearances for his new club before moving to Scunthorpe on loan. He then had a short spell at Halifax and, finally, Northwich Victoria before giving up. In total, a player Warnock rated as one of the best defenders he had ever managed made only 154 league starts in 10 years.
In his worst moments, Woodward has been “a mess, spiralling to the point where I wasn’t going to be here any more. I’ve parked in my garage with a pipe. I’ve been to woods with a rope. I’ve had tablets, ready to go. I took it to the point where I couldn’t be here any more. I’ve been there, physically, and it frightened the life out of me. People talk about it being for attention or a cry for help but I can say, categorically, mine was because I didn’t know how I could live. The only thing that ever stopped me was knowing the devastation it would cause others.”
Bennell, now 62, was jailed for two years in May 2015 for another historic case involving a 12-year-old boy in Macclesfield and admitted in a 2012 interview with the Sunday Times that Gary Speed was one of the youngsters who stayed at his house. Bennell told the newspaper he had not abused Speed, but added that even if he had done he would be unlikely to admit it anyway. When the reporter told him he would be left in peace, he replied: “There’s no peace now. How can you have peace when you’ve killed somebody?” He added: “To me, killing someone is what you’ve done to them, because their life’s never the same again.” Lawyers for Speed’s wife, Louise, subsequently put out a statement saying they had been assured that the former Wales manager was not one of Bennell’s victims.
 
Woodward strongly suspects Bennell, who adopted the name Richard Jones and was living in Milton Keynes before his last prison sentence, colluded for a long time with at least one other paedophile who has never been detected. This, fundamentally, is one of the reasons why he hopes other victims will feel able to come forward. “I’m convinced there is an awful lot more to come out. I also know this will not be a total shock to some people within football that others were involved. This has taken an immense amount of strength and courage but I need closure. I can finally have a voice and I want to give others a belief. We were victims in a profession where we were all so desperate to succeed as footballers. Some of us were fortunate to experience that, yet others weren’t. We all suffered the same pain.”
Woodward spent 12 years in the police after his football career had ended but encountered problems of his own and was dismissed last week after a disciplinary tribunal for having a relationship with the adult sister of a crime victim.
Life is a permanent battle but he is getting by, eternally grateful for the therapy he has received from the Sporting Chance clinic and clinical psychologist Dr Lee Martin. There are times when he does break down emotionally and, taking everything into consideration, it is remarkable he has kept his sanity. “I didn’t tell anybody until the police started their investigation. At first, I told them nothing happened but then I couldn’t bottle it up any longer and that was the moment my family found out. That’s been one of the hardest things, seeing the devastating effect it has had on my family. My sister has suffered massively. She left him immediately. My parents know everything and have to live with it every day. We have a good relationship considering everything but there’s no doubt it has had a big effect on all of us and probably will do for the rest of our lives. Without the love and support of my partner, Zelda, I would not have survived the last 18 months.”
 
He tells his story with great courage and eloquence and it would be wrong to assume he is angry with the world at large. He does, however, feel let down by the sport he grew up loving, and the dressing-room culture of the day, he says, that meant keeping everything in-house. “Throughout those years at Crewe, so many people used to talk about it. Other players would say directly to my face: ‘I bet he does this to you, we know he does that.’ There was all that dressing-room bravado. Then, outside the club, it was never discussed. That’s how football worked back then: ‘We can talk about it within these walls, but we keep it watertight and it doesn’t go any further.’ Nobody wanted to break that circle of trust.
 
“That club has been never been held accountable. My belief, after all these years, is that it must have been well known within the club that he had young boys staying over. That’s the reason why I feel let down by Crewe. I wasn’t at school but I was at a professional football club who had a duty to protect children, and there were hundreds of children running around that place.”
Talking about what happened, he hopes, will give him some form of closure. But it will be always with him and he still suffers, every single day. “Even now, when the results come through on a Saturday and it says ‘Crewe Alexandra’ I get that awful feeling and my stomach turns. And that’s me at 43.”
He did, however, play against them for Bury a couple of times, home and away. “At Gigg Lane I had one of my best games for a long time. I was brilliant that day and it felt like it was me fighting back. Then at Gresty Road I scored – and I’d never scored. But the truth is that going back to Crewe haunted me. It took a lot of inner strength on the coach heading down the motorway and I haven’t been there since. I avoid Crewe now. I will never set foot anywhere near that town again.”
 
………………………………………..
 
 
Andy Woodward showed great courage – but is his story just the tip of the iceberg?
 
Daniel Taylor
 
Saturday 19 November 2016 22.54 GMT
 
It isn’t easy getting into the mind of Barry Bennell, the former coach, scout and serial paedophile who has featured heavily in my reporting over the past few days and, to be perfectly honest, it isn’t necessarily a place I would like to be now it is beginning to feel like the sport might be looking at its own Jimmy Savile.
 
There is one story, however, from his time in prison that probably shows the arrogance of the man and the incredible hold he had over his players back in the days when Norman Rowlinson, then the chairman of Crewe Alexandra, and Ken Barnes, formerly the head scout of Manchester City, another of the clubs where Bennell had a long association, talked of him having a “Pied Piper” influence with young boys.
Bennell was serving nine years after admitting 23 specimen charges of sexual offences, including buggery, against six boys aged nine to 15. He had been arrested when he was deported to England on the back of a four-year prison sentence in Florida for raping and indecently assaulting a 13-year-old British boy while on a football tour.
One of his victims at Crewe, Andy Woodward, was raped more times than he could possibly remember, but certainly in the hundreds. How many others there were, who can really say? Andy, now 43, reckons it is potentially hundreds bearing in mind Bennell was involved in junior and professional football over three decades and described by Florida police as having “almost an insatiable appetite” for young boys. Others are already finding the strength to come forward, inspired by Andy’s immense courage, and no longer willing to suffer in silence. So many, in fact, there is the strong likelihood this story is going to run and run.
Yet it has taken many years to reach this point and, even in prison, Bennell was still finding ways to get into the heads of his players, still thinking that he could get them dancing to his tune and use them for his own means.
He started writing. Letters were sent to various players he had coached over the years. There was no explanation for what he had done, nothing to suggest any shame or contrition, just a few lines asking for a favour and reminding them that their old coach – “Benny” he used to call himself – knew how to get in touch. He wanted money, anything they could afford, for reasons he did not explain, and a few days ago I sat opposite one of the players who received one and saw, close-up, his eyes smouldering with anger. That player had felt empowered to get in touch on the back of Andy’s interview and told me how, at the age 13, he suffered his own abuse from Bennell for a year.
Andy’s own ordeal started when he was 11 and it is a constant source of wonder that he can talk about it with such eloquence and – on the surface at least – manage to keep it all together. We have been in touch for several months now and, right from the start, he has always made it clear he had to do this for his own sanity.
It has been inspiring to see how he has dealt with everything and the way, despite all the unspeakable horrors of his childhood, he can still light up a room with his nice, easy manner. The charity Enough Abuse has invited him to become one of its ambassadors and my hope is that last Wednesday, when the interview was published, was the first day of the rest of his life.
 
But the story-telling process hasn’t been easy, as you can imagine. Some of the more difficult passages, often relating to what Bennell directly told him, have been kept from print because of the effect it would have on others.
Andy is also extremely aware about trying to spare his own family too much hurt when they, too, have suffered immeasurably. Every single day is a struggle but the reaction to his story has shown how football and society has changed, thankfully, since the old Dispatches documentary, Soccer’s Foul Play, provided the first serious reportage of Bennell’s offending and the lack of protection within the sport.
It hasn’t been easy finding an old recording of that documentary – it was first aired on Channel 4 in January 1996 – but it certainly helped to fill in a few gaps and build a picture of how Bennell was allowed to get away with it for so long.
There was the moment the investigative reporter, Deborah Davies, approached the FA’s then director of coaching and education, Charles Hughes, outside its old headquarters in Lancaster Gate and asked whether his organisation should bring in rules to protect children. Hughes did not even break stride, marching straight past as if she did not exist.
Dario Gradi, then the Crewe manager, was interviewed saying there was never “any cause for concern” that Bennell used to have boys staying with him at weekends and over school holidays. Davies, a brilliantly tenacious reporter, seemed perplexed that this could go on and Gradi’s response certainly jarred with Rowlinson’s admission that he was worried enough about Bennell’s “magnetic attraction with boys” to ask his contacts at Manchester City if they had their own suspicions.
Bennell had run junior teams for City for seven years and Davies’s exchange with Chris Muir, one of the club’s directors, was extraordinary. “In the world of football he [Bennell] was looked upon as a fellow that wasn’t right,” Muir said. “Football is a macho game and suspicions were shown that he might have been ‘the other way’, which is very, very rare that you ever hear of that in football, it’s a macho world.” Why, he was asked, did football not do anything about those suspicions? “Football allowed him to stay because he was producing the goods,” he replied.
 
Nobody can watch this without getting a better understanding why Woodward, and many others, felt the sport back then was not ready to listen. Muir’s account was that there were “no firm complaints” yet Barnes, his colleague, admitted that the parents of one boy wrote a letter to the club to report Bennell for having boys in his room late at night on one trip away. City, it transpired, did not see any real cause for alarm. “What do you call them? Piddyphiles, is it?” Barnes asked, and he was actually laughing. “I’ve never come across it in sport because you’re a sportsman, it’s a macho thing, so it never enters your head.”
If we are going to be generous, they were different times and there were lots of clubs in those days operating with these attitudes. Bennell was not the stereotypical dirty old man in a long, brown mac. He wore designer labels and he had a reputation as one of the best coaches and talent-spotters in the country, helping to bring through, among others, Andy Hinchcliffe, David White and Rob Jones, all England internationals, and of course Gary Speed, a future Wales captain who was one of the boys who stayed at his house.
Bennell was also brazen beyond belief with his crimes and so likely to reoffend that the state’s attorney in Florida wrote to Fifa to point out the obvious if he resumed coaching once he arrived back in England. Fifa, according to the American authorities, never even replied.
But what of Crewe in all this? It isn’t easy to know because, quite simply, they have pulled the shutters down. I had been warned there was a “Crewe way” of dealing with the media and, sure enough, it has been a frustrating process. I did eventually manage to track down the club’s press officer, Rob Wilson, but there has been zero contact beyond that apart from a text saying he had mentioned it to the chairman, John Bowler, and there was nothing the club wanted to say.
It is a difficult, complex and emotive situation and I am not expecting the club to be grateful for the publicity. There is actually a lot of sympathy here for the many decent people connected to the club and all those supporters who presumably feel very uneasy about what has already come out and what might be next.
 
But to say nothing? Just try to imagine what it must be like for Bennell’s victims, and everybody else who has been affected, to see the club being so seemingly dismissive, or what they must have felt when Bowler described his MBE as recognition for Crewe’s work with academy-age children.
At the very least, would it have been too much to express some form of public sympathy and point out what lessons they had learned and what had changed? “With Dario Gradi, we’ve worked to produce an academy of which we’re very proud,” Bowler said when he was awarded the MBE in 2014. And yes, the production line of talented kids has been immense, earning Crewe a certain kudos over the years.
Yet there are so many questions that have never been satisfactorily answered. Bowler, 79, has been on the Crewe board since 1980 and was made chairman in 1987. What a cop-out, what a dereliction of duty, for the club, the directors and their media department to think this can be swatted away like a bothersome fly.
At least the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association have tried to say the right things and, more importantly, we can be assured the sport has the right procedures in place now.
It is still a scandal, however, that it took something of this nature to prod the FA into action. Bennell also had links with Stoke City in the past, he coached children on football camps at Butlins and was prominently involved with junior teams in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire going back to the early-1970s. He was sentenced to two years in prison in May 2015 for another historic case, this time involving a 12-year-old on a coaching course in Macclesfield. Bennell is 62 now and our information is that he is out on licence.
Andy visited him once at Wymott prison in Lancashire to try, almost out of desperation, to elicit some answers from a man who has described himself in legal proceedings as a “monster”. How he managed to summon the strength after everything he had been through is anyone’s guess. But that’s one of the things his clinical psychologist, Dr Lee Martin, says: that Andy has remarkable inner strength. He walked through the doors of Wymott because it was part of his recovery process. Bennell, the rotten bastard, gave him nothing. He would not even look him in the eye.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/19/andy-woodward
 
……………………………………………….
 
 
Six come forward after Andy Woodward’s story of abuse at Crewe
 
• Cheshire Police confirm they are in process of contacting them
• Football Association sets up helpline for potential victims
 
Daniel Taylor
 
Monday 21 November 2016 22.07 GMT Last modified on Monday 21 November 2016 22.55 GMT
 
Andy Woodward’s harrowing account of the sexual abuse he suffered from the football coach Barry Bennell in the 1980s has led to six people coming forward to the police and the Football Association setting up a helpline for potential victims.
The police are now in the early stages of collating the new information and speaking to a number of former players who have contacted them since Woodward waived his anonymity to tell the Guardian he had been targeted for several years at Crewe Alexandra, from the age of 11, when Bennell was one of the youth-team coaches.
“As of Monday we have been made aware of six other people who have come forward wishing to speak to the police,” Ben Hilton, acting detective sergeant in Cheshire Police’s public protection unit, said in a statement. “We are currently in the process of making contact with the six people and at this stage no one else is under investigation.”
Woodward, now 43, said he had been raped on hundreds of occasions and spoke of his belief that many other players had suffered in silence because of a man who described himself in legal proceedings as a “monster” but once had a reputation for being one of the outstanding coaches and talent-spotters in the sport.
 
Two players have independently told this newspaper of another person within the football world who they say abused them, while Crewe have broken their silence amid growing criticism of the way they were handling the fallout of Woodward’s interview.
John Bowler, the club’s chairman since 1987 and a director from 1980, said it was unfair to think they were not taking the issue seriously enough and that the nine-man board of directors would hold specially convened talks in the light of Woodward’s harrowing story and the growing realisation about the way the case was escalating.
Dario Gradi, the club’s director of football and long-serving former manager, had earlier said that the directors and staff had been placed under instructions to “keep out of it” but, five days after Woodward’s interview was published, Bowler insisted Crewe did not warrant criticism for their lack of response.
“All this came out of the blue,” Bowler said. “When things come out of the blue you want to make some inquiries from within. There is no doubt we concur with what the FA have said and we are now looking at it from within and considering what our actions should be going forward.
“We are a proud club and when allegations are made that we didn’t take it seriously we want to reflect. I will be meeting with the directors to review the situation. I’m the chairman but we have a board of very dedicated people who are at the heart of what Crewe Alexandra are about. We don’t take lightly – and I don’t mean that aggressively – any of these comments. We are not belittling anything.
“I’m not asking you to be kind but please don’t be too unkind because we really are taking it seriously and looking at the whole issue. We are talking about something 30 years ago, and a lot has changed in that time, but we must look at the current climate and, if we are to make changes, not just at Crewe but in football.”
Bennell was imprisoned for nine years in 1998 after admitting 23 specimen charges against six boys, aged nine to 15, with another 22 offences allowed to lie on file. The hearing at Chester crown court was told one offence took place on one of Crewe’s training pitches. Another was said to have happened at Gradi’s house, though the court was told the then manager did not know about it.
 
Bennell was jailed for two years in May 2015 for another historic offence, involving a 12-year-old boy on a football course in Macclesfield, and has also served a four-year sentence in Florida after the buggery and indecent assault of a 13-year-old British boy on a football tour.
Bowler went on to say that he concurred with the joint statement put out by the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League that described Woodward’s ordeal as “heart-breaking” and praised him for his “immense courage”.
Earlier in the day, however, Gradi had said there was an understanding at Crewe that nobody from the club should talk to the media. “I can’t help you, I’m afraid,” said Gradi, whose association with the club began in 1983.
“The chairman has told me he will issue a statement if he feels it necessary and that otherwise we should keep out of it. I don’t understand any of it. It was a long time ago and for all intents and purposes it was dealt with at the time.”
 
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/21/crewe-alexandra-andy-woodward

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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by worriedmum on 22.11.16 17:38

Horrific. How these evil people put themselves in positions of power over children is truly chilling. What a brave man Andy Woodward is.
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Second footballer reveals abuse by serial paedophile Barry Bennell

Post by Doug D on 23.11.16 7:14

Second footballer reveals abuse by serial paedophile Barry Bennell
 
Steve Walters, a prodigiously talented midfielder, became Crewe Alexandra’s youngest debutant in 1988. Having read the account of club-mate Andy Woodward in the Guardian last week, he now feels empowered to tell his own harrowing story
 
Daniel Taylor
 
Tuesday 22 November 2016 16.04 GMT
 
It was May, 1988, when a prodigiously talented teenager by the name of Steve Walters became the youngest player in the history of Crewe Alexandra, at the age of 16 years and 119 days, and it is a record that stands to this day at a club renowned for its production line of footballers.
Walters was a skilful, combative midfielder with a Plymouth accent, an eye for a pass and an almost obsessive desire to get to the top of the sport. He was at Lilleshall, the Football Association’s school of excellence, in the same crop as Andy Cole and Ian Walker, two future England internationals, and chose Crewe because of their reputation for giving teenage prospects a quick route to the first team. Tottenham Hotspur were among the clubs that wanted him but Crewe had their own attractions, with a heavy emphasis on youth development, and the young, impressionable Walters liked what he heard from the man who invited him to Gresty Road.
 
That man was Barry Bennell, the serial paedophile who has featured prominently in these pages over the last week and, until now, Walters has never felt able to talk publicly about what happened to him at Crewe, the shattering effects it had on his childhood and how, at 44, he has spent more than 30 years with everything bottled up, living with the secret that has distorted his life.
Then, last Wednesday, he read Andy Woodward’s interview about the years of sexual abuse and mental torture he suffered from Bennell, from the age of 11 onwards, and how his old friend feared that many others – hundreds, potentially – had been targeted by a man described by the American authorities as having “almost an insatiable appetite” for young boys.
For Walters, a year older than Woodward in the Crewe system, it was a gruelling, difficult read but, in another sense, exactly what he needed to start his own process of rebuilding. He, too, was abused by a man who has described himself in legal proceedings as a “monster”. The difference is Walters was never part of the case against his former coach. Woodward’s interview left him with a feeling of empowerment he had never experienced before and the sense, finally, that he had the chance to free himself of his own turmoil. He picked up the phone and made the call that will change the rest of his life.
Others have come forward since Woodward, one of the footballers who helped to secure Bennell’s longest prison sentence, waived his right to anonymity but Walters is the first to speak publicly. “All these years, I’ve had this secret inside me,” he says. “But I have to let it all out now. It’s the only way. I want closure and I know, for a fact, this is going to help me move on. It’s been unbearable but, just from reading the article from Andy, it already feels like a massive burden off my shoulders. I have to do this, and I just hope it will help bring more people forward, too.”
Those are precisely the reasons why Woodward felt compelled to tell the story that has inspired Walters to realise the first stage of recovery is to confront the secret that has dominated three-quarters of his life. Both are aware of other victims who have suffered in silence. But there will be more, Walters fears, given that Bennell worked in junior and professional football across three decades. Many more? “Definitely.”
For Walters, it all began in 1984 at the Butlin’s holiday camp in Minehead when he won the first stage of a schoolboys’ football competition where the prize, ultimately, was to train with Manchester United. Walters went all the way through the different stages of the competition and, at the age of 12, travelled to the Cliff, United’s old training ground, to show what he could do in the company of Bryan Robson and the rest of Ron Atkinson’s players.
Bennell, who had a close association in the past with Manchester City and also had links with Stoke City, as well being involved with junior teams in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester, was on the touchline and liked what he saw.
 
“He’d just finished with Man City and started with Crewe,” Walters says. “To start with, I would stay in Crewe during my school holidays, as well as the odd weekend, and sometimes I’d stay at his house. To me, he was the top coach there was. He could do tricks with the ball I’d never seen before. Everything was so impressive about him and he had this ability to make you feel special. He used to promise me he would make me a better player. He would tell me I was the best young midfield player he had ever seen, and that he would help me play for England, and I believed him.”
 
Bennell, he says, had “loads of boys” staying with him and, initially, that helped his own settling-in process. Later, his father, Chris, moved up from Plymouth and, a talented coach himself, started working for Crewe, eventually becoming the club’s community officer and such a revered figure in the town more than 1,000 people attended his funeral and there is now a memorial for him at a sports centre close to the ground.
Before then, however, Bennell had easy access. “The first time he tried anything I can remember getting a bit aggressive with him,” Walters says. “It was a dark room and I was on the top bunk when he came in. I told him to get out and, after that, nothing happened for quite a while but that was him testing the water. I think it was a case of: ‘There’s nothing happening here, but give it a bit of time.’ Then, two or three months later, it started again. I just wish I could turn the clocks back but I was at such a young age I felt almost paralysed.”
Some of Bennell’s other victims dropped out of the game, too emotionally scarred to continue. Walters never gave up on his dream. His debut came in a 1-0 defeat for Dario Gradi’s team against Peterborough United on the final day of the 1987-88 season, and very quickly the 16-year-old was being talked about as a star in the making. Crewe played Red Star Belgrade, the 1991 European Cup winners, in one pre-season fixture and Gradi said Walters was the only member of his team talented enough to play for the opposition.
“When I was 16 I was flying,” Walters says. “At 17, they thought I was going to sign for Liverpool. People were talking about me being the first £1m teenager. I scored against Chelsea in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. I was such a high-profile player for a kid, especially having gone to Lilleshall, but all the time I had this secret.
 
“I just had to pretend it never happened and block it out. I knew it could never come out and I was absolutely petrified because I thought that if it did ever come out that would be it for my career – finished. In my mind, I wouldn’t even be able to go out, never mind play football. And football was my dream. It was my life. Even at Lilleshall, I was the one boy who used to train extra all the time. They used to say I was crazy, but I was so determined to succeed.”
 
On the surface, Walters was a boy with the keys to the football universe. Yet, inside, he was suffering more than anyone knew. “I was confused. Why me? I retracted in myself. Dario used to say to me: ‘You’re a strange boy’ and I used to think: ‘Well, one of your coaches has done this to me.’ It was sheer confusion. I used to think: ‘Am I gay?’ and the culture back then was that there were no such thing as gays in football. Obviously it’s completely different now but if it had come out then I would have been hammered.
“The first team at Crewe used to crucify me anyway, saying I was the ‘son of Dario’, and it felt like my career would have been finished. That’s why, when the investigation started and the police started coming to see me, I never said anything. The CID came round a few times, but I kept denying it. In my mind, if I’d said what happened to me I didn’t think I could carry on playing football.”
The abuse lasted for a year before Bennell, in keeping with the pattern of his offending, moved on when Walters was 14. Then, at 17, Walters was diagnosed with a blood disorder. “I was ill for about five months. I lost a lot of weight and then I started getting temporary arthritis in certain joints. It’s called incomplete Reiter’s syndrome. I went to see all these different specialists and, after a few years, I was told I would never play football again. They told me the infection can be dormant in your body for years. But you can also get it because of something passed on through sexual contact. So I’ve got to think now: has that come from him? That, for me, is one of the hardest things. I’ve always got that doubt in my head: has that man caused me to have this blood disorder? It might not have been him, but the doubt’s always there.”
He did continue to play at a lower level, moving to Northwich Victoria before having spells at Morecambe, Stevenage Borough, Kidsgrove Athletic and Rhyl, as well as playing for England’s semi-professional team, but there was always the risk his body would fail him. “It could flare up at any time. We played at Hayes when I was with Northwich and I had to be stretchered off in the warmup. My knee had come up but once they gave me some anti-inflammatories I was able to play. Everyone was having a laugh about it on the touchline, saying our physio must be Jesus because of the way he had cured me. I just never knew where I was with my body. It was embarrassing.”
 
He has had periods where he has “been really low, a bit of an introvert. I thought I was having a heart attack one day. In those days, nobody knew what a panic attack was. My dad found me at the house in Crewe, lying on the floor, shaking. I ended up in hospital for a few days.
“Before I went to Crewe, I was full of life, full of energy. But it knocked the stuffing out of me. I was a confident, outgoing person but sometimes now I can just go into a shell. I have nightmares sometimes and sleeping problems. My wife tells me how I’ve woken up and, straight away, sat bolt upright. I don’t even know I’m doing it. I can have little periods where I am fine but then something might trigger it off.”
Bennell, he recalls, had various ways to exert his control. “There was one game against Manchester United’s A team when we under-performed. His punishment was to drop us off at Beeston Castle [15 miles from Crewe]. He told us to run round the castle three or four times and then he pointed us one way and said: ‘Home’s that way, you can make your own way back.’ Except he’d pointed us towards Chester. It took us eight or nine hours to get back to Crewe. We were kids and we didn’t have phones or anything in those days to show us the route. In the end, we had to hitch-hike. Just imagine that happening these days.
 
“I also remember one Christmas Eve when he took us into the centre of Manchester. It was dark, late at night, and he was showing off about all the rough people he knew – ‘I know him, that bouncer there’ that kind of stuff – and basically leaving us scared. He used all these mind games. Another time, he told us we were going to a haunted house. It was pitch black, in this old, haunted house, and we were shit scared. Then he started telling us all these scary stories to leave us even more petrified. It was all so we would cuddle up close to him.”
Even in prison, Bennell used to try to exploit his position with the footballers who had once been under his control. Walters was among the ones who received a letter Bennell had written from his cell. “It was just a brief letter asking if there was any chance we could help him out and send some money. I ripped mine into a million pieces. ‘How the hell can you be asking me?’ I thought. But, my God, the arrogance of the man. He always had that arrogance.”
Bennell’s house was set up like a “kids’ grotto” with its caged monkey, pool table and other attractions. “There were jukeboxes, games machines, all sorts,” Walters says. “I always remember this little monkey, wearing a yellow shirt, sitting on my shoulder and shitting everywhere. Barry just used that as an excuse for me to take my top off.
 
“He had all the makes, the T-shirts, the football shirts – Lacoste, all that sort of stuff. One room at his house was full of shirts and boots and he would tell you to help yourself, whatever you wanted. At other times he took us around warehouses looking at clothes and, again, it was ‘choose what you want’.”
It is a release for him to be able to talk openly about what happened – something he has kept from everyone bar close family and friends – but it clearly pains him that there has been so little response from the club he represented for England at youth-team levels.
“I feel massively let down by Crewe,” Walters says. “There were always rumours going round about Crewe. The club need to get their heads out of the sand, make an apology and say something properly. It was Crewe Alexandra where it happened. It wasn’t a feeder club to Crewe. It was the worst-kept secret in football that Barry had boys staying at his house but nobody at Crewe, as far as I can tell, used to think anything of it. It [their reaction] is scandalous really. But they’ve always been the same.”
Over the last week he and Woodward have been in regular contact, reunited for the first time in more than 20 years. The conversations have been emotional, difficult and uplifting, all at once. A number of other victims have also been in touch, going all the way back to when Bennell was involved with junior teams in Manchester in the 1970s, and the Football Association is setting up a hotline for other victims. Walters, speaking with great dignity and courage, can expect overwhelming support judging by the response to Woodward’s interview.
 
Bennell, meanwhile, is out on licence, using the name Richard Jones, after being sentenced to two years in prison in May 2015 for a historical case involving a 12-year-boy on a football course in Macclesfield. Now 62, he previously served nine years for 23 specimen charges of sexual offences, including buggery, against six boys aged nine to 15, one of them being Woodward, with 22 other offences allowed to lie on file. Bennell’s crimes were first detected in 1994 when was he given a four-year sentence in Florida after admitting to the buggery and indecent assault of a boy on a football tour.
Walters, waiving his right to anonymity in order to speak, believes “a man like that should never be let out” and has been in contact with the police – along with at least five others – and the Professional Footballers’ Association. “It’s been a really tough week because of the way it’s brought everything back but, at the same time, I’m so glad Andy has started this. It’s going to help me to move on with my own life. I’ve been so upset but this is the first step to recovery.”
 
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/22/steve-walters-andy-woodward-crewe-alexandra

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Another footballer - Paul Stewart has gone to the Mirror

Post by Doug D on 23.11.16 12:37

Paul Stewart: I was sexually abused by coach who threatened to kill my family if I told anyone
 
The England, Spurs and Liverpool star reveals his childhood tormentor attacked him every day for four years between the ages of 11 and 15
 
BY JEREMY ARMSTRONG
10:02, 23 NOV 2016
 
A former England star has told how he was sexually assaulted by a youth coach as a child.
Spurs and Liverpool ace Paul Stewart, 52, said the pervert attacked him from age 11 to 15 after pledging to “make him a star”.
 
For more than 40 years, footballer Paul Stewart kept the trauma of his horrific child sex abuse ordeal at the hands of a coach bottled up from everyone, including his family.
But the former England star has now broken his silence to tell how he was targeted by the vile trainer between the ages of 11 and 15 – in the hope more victims will come forward.
Paul claims he was assaulted every day for four years and that his tormentor got away with it because he threatened to kill his ­relatives if he ever told anyone.
 
The 52-year-old ex- Man City , Spurs , and Liverpool player spoke out after he read about Andy Woodward , 43, who was abused as a young footballer by perverted Crewe Alexander youth coach Barry Bennell, 61, in the 70s and 80s.
And he fears there may be hundreds of other victims as concerns grew a paedophile ring was operating in North West football at the time.
Paul alleges his own abuse started after the coach befriended his parents and promised to “help make him a star”.
He claims: “One day, ­travelling in the car, he started to touch me. 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.
“He would say, ‘Does anyone want to drive the car?’ I sat with a leg on one side by the steering wheel. That is when he first touched me.”
 
The coach would tell Paul’s parents their son needed to work on a certain aspect of the game – such as control or passing – as an excuse to take him out and abuse him, in his car and at his home.
Paul, who waived his right to anonymity despite his ordeal, claims: “One lad in the team, he made him and I perform sexual acts on him.
"Another lad who was four years older than me told me he was abused. He told me that later when we met as adults.
“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.”
Paul noticed some youngsters would refuse to travel in the car with the coach to games.
When others did get a lift, he was always last to be dropped off, leaving him alone with his alleged abuser.
 
As he grew more ­confident, the predatory coach would take Paul bowling, or to the pictures as a means of ­allegedly gaining access, “charming” the boy’s parents into believing he was safe in his care.
The trainer, who cannot be named, would also take him to ­football ­tournaments, giving him another chance to prey on him.
Paul’s brothers were on the trips away. Breaking down in tears, the former striker and midfielder claims: “He abused me there and told me he would kill them if I told anybody.
“We went away for another ­tournament. He abused me there too. I could never tell my team-mates.
"I was always under threat, if I was not playing well, he would threaten me with violence as well as sexual abuse. He was a monster.
 
“My brothers are older than me, but he would offer to take them as he wanted to abuse me while we were there. That is how he did what he did, it was all a front.
“I still went out and played. After a while, that became an escape from him, a total relief for 90 minutes.”
Paul claims the coach even told him about the abuse by Bennell, who was jailed in 1998 and again last year for sexual abuse, in a bid to persuade him it happened everywhere.
He adds: “He told me Barry was doing it to kids on a team we played. I think I was 12 or 13, he was trying to infer it was normal.
"I have never met Andy Woodward, but I read the Daily Mirror at work and when I saw it, it was like reading my own life story.
“It brought a lot of issues up for me, and wanted people to know how ­difficult it was to come forward.
“It stirred up a lot of my past which I thought I had buried.”
 
He reveals he once ­desperately tried escape his alleged abuser, by “running down a road” but got caught.
Paul says the sickening assaults robbed him of his childhood as he tried to wipe the past out of his mind in a bid to cope with the trauma in adult life.
It also meant he had difficulty showing affection to his family.
Paul broke down as he told how he could not hug his wife of 29 years, Bev, 52, or tell his daughters, 21 and 27, and son, 30, that he loved them because of the abuse suffered as a child.
He says: “I am going to be a ­grandad soon with the first ­grandchild on the way and I want to change.
“I want to be able to show ­affection, that has been the worst aspect of it, them not being able to get close to me.
"Certainly for my wife and children, anyone immediate to me, I feel that they have had to say, ‘That is how dad is.’
“They never had a go at me. They don’t ever wish they had another dad, but I know it is not easy for them.
"I have seen a counsellor, but I am resigned to the fact it will always be there and it is how I deal with it. I don’t sit around the house crying all the time, but tears are a release at times.
“I hope it will encourage others to find some kind of closure, to deal with it.
“I want you to help other victims bring these people to justice. Whatever walk of life they are in, I hope they are able to come forward.
"When I read Andy’s story, it was like reading my life story. Three other players have contacted him.
 
“I hope there are others who will come forward and support us.”
A helpline was set up for soccer abuse victims yesterday.
There are fears a paedophile ring linked to Paul’s alleged abuser and Bennell could include at least one respected manager in the ­professional game.
Six other people have contacted police with claims they were abused as young footballers.
 
Former Crewe ­Alexandra star Steve Walters, 44, followed Andy in coming forward to allege he was a victim of sexual assault at the Cheshire club all those years ago.
Given Paul’s coach worked with ­children over a number of years, he fears there could be dozens of others, even hundreds.
He finally escaped the clutches of his alleged abuser at the age of 15, signing for Blackpool, where he made his professional debut at 17.
 
He went on to star alongside greats such as Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Chris Waddle, John Barnes and Ian Rush.
And he was in the 1991 Tottenham side that won the FA Cup.
The game helped Paul, who has not received any payment for this interview, to hide away his childhood horrors.
 
He says: said: “My family, career, success was a way of forgetting. I cannot say that I never had the thought of revenge.
"But this is not about revenge, it is about getting the message out there.
"It is not just in football, there are ­paedophiles out there who are getting to kids in sport, maybe with the pretence of making them into big stars like he did with me.
“It would not surprise me if there are people suffering even now.
"We know there was my abuser, and Bennell, and they were linked because my coach told me about Bennell. I don’t believe it was just the two of them.
 
“I watched Spotlight, the film about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, and that started at a school but then people started coming forward and the ­enormity of it became clear.
"I think that could happen in ­football. I have not done this lightly, I have spoken to my wife, kids and parents.
“It has been very difficult. I have not got much sleep, even less than usual. But I knew this is the right thing to do.
“It will be hard for those closest to me. People may point fingers, it is part of being a public figure.
“But I owe them. My girls and my son have seen the issues I have had and brought to the house.
“Now perhaps they will understand why I have not been able to say the things a parent can say to his children.”
 
Paul Stewart Fact file:
Name: Paul Andrew Stewart
Born: October 7, 1964.
Place of birth: Manchester.
Height: 5ft 10in (1.78m)
Position: Striker/Midfielder
Senior Career (appearances/goals):
1981–1987 Blackpool 201(56)
1987–1988 Manchester City 51(26)
1988–1992 Tottenham Hotspur 131 (28)
1992–1996 Liverpool 32 (1)
1994: Crystal Palace (loan)18 (3) 1994: Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)8(2)
1995:Burnley (loan) 8 (0)
1995:Sunderland (loan) 2 (0)
1996–1997 Sunderland 34 (5)
1997–1998 Stoke City 21 (3)
1998–2000 Workington 55 (15)
Total 559 (139)
International honours:
1988 England U211(1)
1989–1992 England B5(1)
1991–1992 England 3(0)
FA Cup Winner: Spurs, 91.
One of very few players to appear in a north London derby, a Manchester derby, a Merseyside derby and a North east derby.
 
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paul-stewart-sexually-abused-coach-9313094

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Football sex abuse claims: David White latest ex-player to come forward

Post by Doug D on 23.11.16 18:24

Football sex abuse claims: David White latest ex-player to come forward
 
8 minutes ago From the section
Football
 
Former Manchester City and England player David White has become the fourth footballer to speak publicly about being sexually abused as a child by a coach.
 
White follows ex-Crewe players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters, and former Tottenham forward Paul Stewart.
 
The 49-year-old claims former Crewe coach Barry Bennell, a convicted paedophile, abused him.
 
Cheshire Police said 11 people had come forward since Woodward went public.
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) expects that number to rise.
The four players to speak publicly have each waived their right to anonymity as sex abuse victims.
White 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."
White, who is not one of the 11 people to come forward to Cheshire Police, said "circumstances took me away from the abuse before it escalated".
"I salute Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart for so bravely revealing their personal tragedies," he added.
"The physical abuse they and others suffered was certainly more extreme and prolonged than my ordeal, and I cannot be sure that I would have their courage."
 
Woodward, 43 and Walters, 44, have spoken about being abused by Bennell, who was jailed for nine years in 1998 for sexual offences against children.
Bennell, who worked as a football scout and coach at Crewe Alexandra in the 1980s and 90s, admitted 23 specimen charges of sexual offences against six boys, aged nine to 15.
Stewart, 52, a former England international who started his career at Blackpool and also played for Manchester City and Liverpool, told the Mirror an unnamed coach abused him daily for four years up to the age of 15.
 
White, who is releasing a book about his abuse, said he was targeted at the age of 11 by a coach he "hero-worshipped".
After making more than 340 appearances for Manchester City, he went on to play for Leeds United and Sheffield United, and won a single cap for England.
He said he does not feel "brave" but "like one of the lucky ones" despite the "profound effects of 1979-80".
White added: "I have come to terms with the fact Bennell's actions influenced almost every event and relationship in my life.
"The process of writing the book became sometimes painful, always cathartic and incredibly liberating."
 
PFA chief Gordon Taylor said: "Because of Andy Woodward's bravery, many other ex-players and apprentices are now contacting us - it is double figures now - and that is a timely warning for everybody in football about our duty of care to these youngsters.
"It is up to all of us now to grasp the nettle and we make sure we learn from this."
 
Det Insp Sarah Hall, from Cheshire Police's public protection unit, said: "We have now been made aware of a number of people who have come forward wishing to speak to the police.
"At this stage we are in the process of making contact with them, and to date no arrests have been made and no-one else is under investigation."
 
Crewe chairman John Bowler has told BBC sports editor Dan Roan he was "infuriated and very disappointed" about Bennell's crimes.
Bowler, who was chairman at the time of Bennell's offences, was asked whether more could have been done. He replied: "When we've done our inquiries and looked at the detail of the various accusations, then I'll be in a position to answer that kind of question."
Woodward told BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday he believed his experience was "the tip of the iceberg".
A spokesman for the NSPCC praised the former Sheffield United and Bury defender for coming forward, adding there was "more to be done in the world of sport" to keep children safe.
Sue Ravenlaw, head of equality and safeguarding at the Football Association, has also praised Woodward for his "immense courage" in going public.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38084213

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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by Doug D on 25.11.16 19:02

Met. just released statement re London clubs:
 
Non-recent sexual abuse in football clubs
 
Nov 25, 2016 17:44 GMT
 
The Metropolitan Police Service has received information relating to non-recent sexual abuse in football clubs in London.
 
The Met will assess any information it receives and ensure that victims are given the advice and support they need. 


The Met would encourage anyone who has been a victim, or has any information, to make contact with their local police, so that any further information can then be passed to officers, or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
 
The Met will not comment about ongoing investigations.
 
http://news.met.police.uk/news/non-recent-sexual-abuse-in-football-clubs-201641?hootPostID=9ba4edf10263201c90f0c4c5289debc7

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MBE,Eric Bristow dropped by Sky over Football abuse comments.

Post by willowthewisp on 29.11.16 13:59

Eric Bristow has been dropped by Sky for his outrageous comments on the Footballers who have come forward on Child Abuse by persons from different Football clubs,thought to have carried out these acts upon their bodies.
Mr Bristow has sanctioned the use of some sort of violence to the perpetrators,as the Abused Children became Adults to deal with a situation that had occurred some years ago?
Abuse is Abuse,it is the Functions left behind in the Mind of the Abused that is embedded into the Bodies functions,that the "Abused Child"carries with them for the rest of their life,it is not so simple as to use a phrase as to"Man Up"or different Sporting people are better able to deal with what has happened?
I some how think Mr Bristow should have put one of his feet into his mouth,before passing comments on something so personnel in light of what may have happened to these young Budding footballers,perhaps he hasn't been listening to what may have happened to these Human people?

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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by Richard IV on 29.11.16 17:31

@willowthewisp wrote:Eric Bristow has been dropped by Sky for his outrageous comments on the Footballers who have come forward on Child Abuse by persons from different Football clubs,thought to have carried out these acts upon their bodies.
Mr Bristow has sanctioned the use of some sort of violence to the perpetrators,as the Abused Children became Adults to deal with a situation that had occurred some years ago?
Abuse is Abuse,it is the Functions left behind in the Mind of the Abused that is embedded into the Bodies functions,that the "Abused Child"carries with them for the rest of their life,it is not so simple as to use a phrase as to"Man Up"or different Sporting people are better able to deal with what has happened?
I some how think Mr Bristow should have put one of his feet into his mouth,before passing comments on something so personnel in light of what may have happened to these young Budding footballers,perhaps he hasn't been listening to what may have happened to these Human people?
The man is a thug.
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Re:Andy Woodward Footballer abused.

Post by willowthewisp on 30.11.16 14:20

Hi RichardIV,Eric's now retracted his comments on the individuals they were aimed at and is "Donating"any fees for the Interviews to ITV to a charitable organisation,the BBC refused to his £5000.00 appearance fees?
I do not understand why any MSM would pay him a fee to come on the programme,to discuss or amend his comments that he gave on,Twitter,Facebook in the first place,the damage had already been done of the offensiveness contributed to these sites?
It's all a PR game to them to "Redeem"themselves from any bad publicity in regard to their TV future contracts of employment!

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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by Doug D on 02.12.16 12:06

Just looking back at this one, in the light of all the football abuse stories now spreading wider across other sports, as I remembered there was some mention of Andrew Picard’s involvement in coaching at a swimming club and came across the result of this similar case which was highlighted at the same time with a query as to what sort of sentence a Special Constable would get.
 
https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t12499-andrew-picard-eton-student-spared-jail-taking-a-leaf-out-of-charles-lyntons-book?highlight=lynton
 
Notice of outcome of Special Case Hearing held on 28th October 2016


Special Police Constable Linford Braithwaite previously based at Barking & Dagenham OCU.


It was alleged that Special Police Constable Linford Braithwaite:


On 20th May 2015 a search warrant was executed under section 4(2) Protection of children Act 1978 at the home address of SPC Braithwaite. In relation to offences of indecent images of children, he made some admissions at the scene and was arrested for possession of indecent images of children.


A forensic audit on his HTC mobile phone had recovered 316 thumb print images of category C images of children. The photos on the phone would need to be clicked on or downloaded from a specific link. He denied intentionally downloading naked images of children or having knowledge of the images being on his phone.


On 25th February 2016 SPC Braithwaite was charged with 5 counts of making and one roll up charge of possession of 100 indecent images of children.


On 29th March 2016 at Westminster Magistrates Court he pleaded not guilty to all charges.


On 4th July 2016 at Southwark Crown Court, the charges were withdrawn. This was due to insufficient forensic evidence to prove the offences to the requisite standard for criminal proceedings.


SPC Braithwaite’s accounts in interview contained discrepancies and inconsistencies that were not congruent with his online activities. He has a good level of knowledge around accessing and downloading information from websites. His omissions lacked the integrity expected of police officers.


Such conduct falls significantly below what is expected of police officers and is a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour, relating to Honesty & Integrity and Discreditable Conduct. It is alleged that this conduct amounts to gross misconduct. The breaches are considered to be so serious as to justify his dismissal.


It is alleged that Special Police Constable Braithwaite has breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to, Honesty & Integrity and Discreditable Conduct.

The allegation was proven as Gross Misconduct and he was dismissed without notice



http://content.met.police.uk/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-Type&blobheadername2=Content-Disposition&blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3D%22506%2F272%2FSPC+Linford+Braithwaite.pdf%22&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1284093864148&ssbinary=true
 
 
…………………………………
 
Pleaded not guilty.


Charges withdrawn ‘due to insufficient forensic evidence to prove the offences to the requisite standard for criminal proceedings’, yet summarily dismissed.


The law (and police force) certainly act in mysterious ways.

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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by sallypelt on 02.12.16 21:43

Some big names are going to come out of this. Without going into detail, about five years ago, I was informed about a very famous football player who was involved in child abuse, but it was kept hush, hush, and big payouts were made to shut people up.  I am not going to post any names on here, but if and when this comes out, you are going to be shocked

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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by Doug D on 03.12.16 11:06

'We knew he was a pervert': Chelsea legend Alan Hudson says it was 'common knowledge' that young players were abused while ex-chief scout Eddie Heath was at the club
 
   Hudson, who played for the Blues in 1960s and 70s, called Heath a 'nonce'
   Ex-midfield star said that Heath was known as a 'danger to us youngsters' 
   Other Chelsea players have also opened up about alleged abuse at club
   Derek Richardson claimed boys were abused in showers on club premises
   Chelsea paid £50,000 to Eddie Heath sex abuse victim Gary Johnson 
 
By Alex Matthews and Arthur Martin and Christian Gysin and Matt Barlow for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 09:02, 3 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:10, 3 December 2016
 
Snips:
 
 ‘Chelsea legend Alan Hudson said it was 'common knowledge' that players were abused while ex-chief scout Eddie Heath was at the club.
Hudson, who played for the Blues in the late 1960s and 70s, called Heath a 'nonce' on social media and described his behaviour as 'despicable'.
The 65-year-old wrote on Facebook: 'It was common knowledge that Eddie Heath was a nonce. He was a danger to us youngsters, but luckily for me, he never came near me.'
Hudson, who came through the youth system at Chelsea before making a name for himself as an elegant and skillful midfielder, said he felt obliged to tell the truth about Heath for 'the future of our grandchildren.'
He added: 'We must protect those children in a day that they are being signed by football clubs at the ridiculous age of 6/7/8-years-of-age.
'These paedophiles are taking coaching badges because it is an open door to those children who know nothing about such things.'
 
 
‘Richardson said: 'I got touched a couple of times on the backside when he (Heath) was rubbing me down after a shower at the training ground. He preyed on anyone he thought was vulnerable.
'He would look out for single mothers and offer to pick a boy up and drop him back home. He was very shrewd.
'The guy was always flicking the private parts of the boys when they were in the shower or changing. He would make out like it was a joke. It was sexual harassment. 
'There were a load of people who knew what was going on. If anyone had come out and said anything they would have disappeared. You would never see them again at the club. He was responsible for either bringing you in or throwing you out.
'You had to be very careful back then. If you said the wrong thing you would end up not having a career.'
 
 
‘However, club legend and former Chelsea captain Ray Wilkins said he was shocked by the allegations.
Wilkins, who also played for Manchester United and AC Milan, was brought through Chelsea's youth system by the former chief scout.
The ex-England international told the Telegraph: 'I knew Eddie very well. It makes no sense whatsoever to me. Eddie was a great guy.
'Eddie Heath was fantastic as far as I am concerned. I have never heard anything like this [about Eddie].' 
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3996464/We-knew-pervert-Chelsea-legend-Alan-Hudson-says-common-knowledge-young-players-abused-ex-chief-scout-Eddie-Heath-club.html
 
……………………………………………
 
Something not right here.
 
Ray Wilkins (age 60) ‘never heard anything like this’, yet Alan Hudson (65) says ‘common knowledge’. Richardson also aged 60.
 
Gary Johnson (57) “All their fans deserve to know the truth about what went on. I know they asked me to sign a gagging order and how many others are there out there?
“They may have paid others for their silence. I hope and pray no clubs are allowed to cover this up – no one should escape justice. We need total transparency now for the good of the game.”
This week Chelsea waived the clause in Gary’s settlement banning him from speaking about abuse after details of his claim were leaked to the media.’
 
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/ex-chelsea-star-says-club-9376111

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Re;Andy Woodward footballer abused by coach.

Post by willowthewisp on 03.12.16 15:00

Andy Woodward's and friends recollections of Child Abuse is in the headlines at present and with that in mind it brought back a discussion I had with one of my Brothers.
One of my Brothers served on a jury where a very well known "Footballer" was on trail charged with abusing youngsters,wherebye he had also trained as a Social Care Worker,after finishing his Football career.
My Brother never discussed the case against the Footballer, even though he was an avid supporter of the Club this person played for.
If I am right as this was in the early 1990's,the Trail Judge in that case dismissed the charges against the "Footballer"and found that people he was charged or associated with with were found Guilty of Child abuse,now it remains to be seen if this"footballers"name is disclosed in the FA Investigations?
I am not naming the person as he was found "Not Guilty"and I believe the Judge ordered/directed the"Jury"to dismiss the charges against the Footballer!
Operation Care,where the Police had a report sent to the Home Affairs select Committee/Home Office, concluded that the"Police.had used a Trawling exercise to gain evidence,which then led to a New genre of a Miscarriage of Justice?

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ANDY WOODWARD SET TO BECOME MWT VERSION 2?

Post by RosieandSam on 04.02.17 16:03

Andy Woodward steps down as director of The Offside Trust as he works on HBO documentary in wake of child sex abuse scandal


  • Andy Woodward's recollection of his own abuse has led to more than 1,000 referrals to police 
  • He launched The Offside Trust with fellow former players Steve Walters and Chris Unsworth 
  • Woodward remains 'a key ambassador, supporter and friend', says a statement 
  • He has been working with HBO on a documentary as well as other projects


By Mike Keegan For The Daily Mail and Matt Lawton for the Daily Mail


Published: 22:30, 3 February 2017  |  Updated: 22:30, 3 February 201


Andy Woodward, the footballer who triggered the sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the sport, is no longer a director of a campaign group he helped set up to support victims.

Woodward, whose powerful recollection of his own abuse has led to more than 1,000 referrals to police, launched The Offside Trust with fellow former players Steve Walters and Chris Unsworth in December.

The trio appeared alongside each other at an emotional press conference at a Manchester hotel less than two months ago at which they pledged to 'fight for justice'.



Andy Woodward was the director of The Offside Trust, which was launched in December

However, in a statement on Friday, the trust revealed driving force Woodward's departure.

'Andy Woodward is no longer a director of the trust but remains a key ambassador, supporter and friend,' it read.

'Everyone involved in The Offside Trust would like to put on record their wholehearted thanks to Andy for his enormous courage in coming forward and making public some of the darkest secrets in the football world.



The Offside Trust was launched in December by four former footballers

'He will continue to play a key role in highlighting this issue and making sport safer for all children in the future. We look forward to working closely with Andy and other players who have shown such bravery in the last few weeks.'

Woodward has been working with US broadcaster HBO on a documentary and is understood to be working on other projects around child safeguarding.


He told Sportsmail: 'I am still involved with the trust but I have just been very busy. I have got a lot of other things going on but they have my backing and support.'

Talks are ongoing between the trust, the Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association about funding, and corporate backers have also offered help.

The latest figures released by police show that 526 potential victims have come forward nationwide with 184 suspects identified and 248 clubs impacted.
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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by RosieandSam on 04.02.17 16:12

@Moderators

I forgot to put the link in my previous post.

Please can you add: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-4189984/Andy-Woodward-steps-director-Offside-Trust.html
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Re: Andy Woodward - Historic CSA in the football world (from The Guardian)

Post by Roxyroo on 21.06.17 20:18

https://youtu.be/-35dEyHqKLw

Richie Allen discussing Mrs Mays attempts to delete Wiki/online entries about her father. May be a link between the historic child abuse enquiry, may not be, but is strange to say the least

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