Paedophile well known, says ex-Chelsea star
Ex-Chelsea football star Alan Hudson said it was “common knowledge” that a former scout at the club was a paedophile, media reported yesterday as an abuse scandal engulfing the sport deepens.
His comments come after another former Chelsea player, Gary Johnson, claimed he was paid £50,000 ($63,000) by the Premier League club not to go public with allegations that he was sexually abused as a young player by ex-chief scout Eddie Heath. Around 350 people have told British police they were victims of abuse by football coaches in a mounting scandal that has rocked the sport. “It was common knowledge that Eddie Heath was a nonce,” slang for paedophile, Hudson wrote in a post on Facebook, cited by British tabloid newspapers. “I was around and it was common knowledge that Mr Heath was a danger to us youngsters, but luckily for me, he never came near me, almost as if I had a sixth sense.” London club Chelsea said a lawyer was assisting them with their inquiries into Heath’s behaviour, adding: “The club has also contacted the FA to ensure that all possible assistance is provided as part of their wider investigation.”
Heath worked as a youth talent scout for the club in the 1960s and 70s but is now dead. Players from other London clubs he worked for, Leyton Orient and Charlton, have also come forward about his predatory behaviour.
Jimmy Scott, former skipper of Orient where Heath worked during the 1950’s and 60’s, said he had retorted he would punch him when he was propositioned whilst a former trainee from Charlton, where he worked in the early 1980’s, claimed in ‘The Times’ he had ‘touched up’ two of his team-mates.
Former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said he didn’t believe the Football Association (FA) were in a good position to investigate how their predecessors had dealt with the matter. Sutcliffe, sports minister in the Labour Government from 2007 and 2010, said there was concern during his tenure about how the FA dealt with governance of the sport and with youth development. The 63-year-old said it would be preferable if an independent body, such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport looked at the issue rather than the FA investigating itself.—AFP