The NSPCC has reported that they have received more than 50 calls within two hours after a hotline was set-up for sex abuse issues by coaches.
The hotline was set-up after four former footballers opened up about being sexually abused by coaches as children.
Paul Stewart, Steve Walters, Andy Woodward and David White spoke about sexual abuse as children in the past, and many more are expected to come forward. The Football Association is reportedly set to meet with Woodward to discuss the allegations, which could have a considerable impact on coaching, and football as a whole. The Shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan has already warned that the scandal could have far-reaching consequences on football in the UK.
All four ex-footballers waved their rights to anonymity in coming out to speak on the abuses. Sports minister Tracey Crouch commended them, saying they showed “incredible bravery” speaking about the abuses.
Forty-three year old former Crewe player Woodward went public about the abuse he suffered as a child in the hands of former Crewe coach and youth football scout Barry Bennell. Bennell has been convicted for sex offences against children for nine years in 1998, but Cheshire Police say 11 people have also come out to reveal sexual abuse as children. Another Crewe player, Walters reveals that Bennell also abused him.
White, who used to play for Manchester City and England, also joined the list accusing Bennell of sexual abuse. The 49-year old man said Bennell abused him between 1979 and 1980 when he was with Whitehill FC junior team.
Stewart, 52 – a former Three Lions player – said a coach, whom he refused to name, abused him everyday for for years before he turned 15. The ex-player was with Blackpool, Manchester City and Liverpool before retiring.