New claims as more come forward

Sean Reid
February 17, 2018

This latest trial - his fourth conviction for child sex offences - heard evidence that he abused players at his home, on football trips to north Wales, Spain and the United States of America and even at Crewe's Gresty Road ground.

The club said it could not give any more detail about those reports but said it remained in "regular dialogue" with police and the Football Association which is conducting its own widespread investigation into allegations of historical sex abuse.

He followed court proceedings via a video link due to illness but will be brought to court on Monday for sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court.

Dozens of complainants against Bennell have come forward since Woodward spoke out and hundreds more have accused other coaches of abusing them. The 64-year-old was convicted of 50 counts of sexual abuse in total, admitting to seven charges at the start of the trial. "For decades we held our silence just like our abuser told us to".

"For decades we have lived in fear because we may be grown men stood in front of you now but we were once a little child".

Former football coach Barry Bennell.

Bennell, who is now known as Richard Jones, has been described by prosecutors as a "child molester on an industrial scale". He also abused the trust of their families who had placed them into that care so they could pursue their dreams of being professional footballers.

He said: "If we use our phones we can't take pictures of the children and put it on the Stoke City Twitter or Facebook page".

"How can it be that no one realised something was wrong?" he asked.

Along with Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City is one of the clubs most seriously implicated, after it emerged that it was told by one of its coaches in the late 1970s that it was "general knowledge" Bennell was a risk to children.

"We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traumatic experience the victims and survivors have endured at the hands of this individual, and the bravery they have shown in coming forward".

Crewe, which employed Bennell for two periods between January 1985 and January 1992, also expressed sympathy but said it was "not aware of any sexual abuse by Mr. Bennell, nor did it receive any complaint about sexual abuse by him, either before or during his employment with the club".

Victims say football clubs "knew, one million per cent" coach Barry Bennell was abusing young hopefuls.

He regularly drove some of his victims to the club's then Maine Road stadium and Platt Lane training ground - although there was no evidence that abuse took place at either location.

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