NUMBERS INCREASE AS ABUSE SCANDAL DEEPENS
THE scale of the historical child abuse scandal that has rocked English football over the last couple of weeks continues to grow.
According to police, 83 potential suspects have now been identified and 98 clubs spanning all tiers of the game have been ‘impacted’.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the UK’s leading children’s charity, says 98 per cent of those identified as victims are male and the age range for potential victims at the time of alleged abuse spans from seven to 20.
The Football Association plans to conduct an internal review to determine whether it could and should have done more,
The scandal has deeped since former Crewe, Bury and Sheffield United player Andy Woodward, 43, waived his right to anonymity and told the
Guardian in mid-November that he was sexually abused as a youth player.
Since he has spoken out, several other footballers – including former Tottenham and England midfielder Paul Stewart and ex-Manchester City striker David White – have told their stories publicly.
Woodward has also joined with another former Crewe player, Steve Walters, and ex-Manchester City youth player Chris Unsworth to launch an independent trust that will ‘fight for justice’ and support victims.
At the launch of The Offside Trust last Monday, Woodward said: “We do want justice because we all suffered a terrible ordeal.
“We want to move forward so we can protect the children suffering right now... we just want to help people. That’s it.”
QPR say they are taking allegations made against former employee Chris Gieler ‘very seriously’ and will ‘co-operate fully’ in any investigation. Charlton, Crewe and Manchester City have also opened investigations into allegations of historical abuse.
JUSTICE: Andy Woodward