Former Saints coach behaviour ‘very very wrong’: Le Tissier
LONDON: Former England and Southampton star Matt Le Tissier became the highest profile former footballer to make accusations of inappropriate behaviour telling the BBC he received a ‘naked massage’ from former Saints youth coach Bob Higgins.
Higgins, who is still alive unlike several other former coaches who have been subject to a slew of allegations of abuse over the past fortnight, was acquitted of sexual abuse charges in 1992.
But he was linked to abuse again in a 1997 Channel Four documentary while the Football League, police and social services had warned as early as 1989 he was a danger to children.
He has in the past week been accused by several former Southampton players and the club’s former manager Harry Redknapp, who was not in charge at the time Higgins was there, criticised the Football Association (FA) for not banning him from football.
The FA have launched their own internal review into whether their body had been made aware of these allegations at the timeas the scandal has been labelled the biggest crisis in English football.
At present 20 police forces are holding their own investigations after being contacted by former players and a source told The Observer at the weekend the allegations concern 55 professional and non league clubs. In other developments The Daily Telegraph reported the late Chris Gieler has been accused of abuse of apprentices and schoolboys at London club Queens Park Rangers over three decades when he was their youth development officer. Athletics too came into the spotlight as a former aspiring athlete Roy Messenger, 55, went public in The Daily Telegraph and said he had been raped 50 times between the ages of nine and 12 by the man known as Oxford’s ‘Mr Athletics’ Aubrey Harris, including at the track where Roger Bannister broke the four minute barrier for the mile.