MAG­PIES CAUGHT UP IN ABUSE SCAN­DAL

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ge­orge Evans

NEW­CAS­TLE United have be­come one of the lat­est clubs em­broiled in the child sex­ual abuse scan­dal that has rocked foot­ball.

Last week, League Two out­fit Crewe Alexan­dra an­nounced they would launch an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the way they had dealt with his­tor­i­cal child abuse al­le­ga­tions.

It fol­lowed a se­ries of al­le­ga­tions against for­mer Crewe youth team coach Barry Ben­nell, 62, who has served three sen­tences for child sex of­fences.

In the wake of the rev­e­la­tions, a spe­cial helpline was set up by the NSPCC for peo­ple who wanted to talk about sex­ual abuse at foot­ball clubs. In its first week, it re­ceived a stag­ger­ing 860 calls.

The Na­tional Po­lice Chiefs’ Coun­cil said 55 am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional clubs had been linked to po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions in 17 ar­eas.

Ex-New­cas­tle player Derek Bell has re­vealed he wanted to kill the coach who sex­u­ally abused him dur­ing the 1970s.

He was groomed and abused by Ge­orge Or­mond be­tween the ages of 12 and 16 while play­ing for the Mon­tagu and North Fen­ham boys foot­ball club.

Or­mond, 60, was later jailed for six years for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing young boys.

And an­other for­mer New­cas­tle foot­baller has al­leged abuse by coach Or­mond left him a “shell” of his for­mer self.

David Ea­tock, now 40, told the BBC’s Vic­to­ria Der­byshire show he had been groomed by Or­mond from the age of 18 to 21.

He was not part of the court case that saw Or­mond con­victed in 2002 for as­sault­ing seven boys, but has now filed a com­plaint to the po­lice.

New­cas­tle have said they would “co­op­er­ate fully with the po­lice and rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties”.

Pre­mier League clubs have also be­come caught up in the con­tro­versy.

For­mer Chelsea foot­baller Gary John­son claims the club paid him £50,000 to keep quiet about al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual abuse by for­mer chief scout Ed­die Heath, who is now dead, in the 1970s.

Ex-Southamp­ton play­ers Dean Rad­ford and Jamie Webb – plus two oth­ers – have al­leged they were sub­jected to groom­ing and sex­ual abuse by a for­mer Southamp­ton FC em­ployee.

The NSPCC helpline is avail­able on 0800 023 2642.

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