Football Sex Abuse Scandal: Paul Stewart Reveals He Was Molested By A Coach; Victims Could Run Into The Hundreds
The former England and Tottenham player, who bared this week that he was molested by a coach for four years as a child, Paul Stewart, thinks the sport could face allegations on the scale of the Jimmy Savile scandal. Former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward likewise broke his silence last week about the exploitation he received while at the club as a minor at the hands of then-coach and now-convicted pedophile Barry Bennell.
A Charity Took Part In Helping Out Abused Children
The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children [NSPCC] said it had received dozens of calls within the first two hours of opening a committed help line with callers voicing concerns about children now and in the past. The charity said it would pass information from 20 callers to police and expected "a lot of more" to come forward with grievances.
It was launched after four footballers spoke about being abused as children, according to Ei Sport. NSPCC is a children's charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. It helps children who have been abused to rebuild their lives, protect those at risk, and find the best ways of preventing abuse from ever happening. The charity pointed to statistics showing that men and boys are five times less likely to report abuse than girls.
More Retired Footballers Came Forward To Support Victims
Former Crewe players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters, and ex-Manchester City player David White, as well as Paul Stewart have verbalized about abuse in the game after relinquishing their right to anonymity. Former England and Manchester City forward David White has become the fourth retired footballer in a week to say he was sexually abused at the start of his career.
"This has not been easy for me. But I felt that I needed to do this so other people will come forward and with the optimism that it may stop anyone who may be thinking of doing it again, in any walk of life - not just football, Paul Stewart told BBC News.
"There must be no hiding place for sexual exploitation in our national game and there may be many others who suffered through such horrors as young players but have never come forward.", says NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless.