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Ex-England footballer Paul Stewart speaks of sexual abuse

image copyrightAllsport
image captionPaul Stewart, whose clubs included Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City, said an unnamed coach abused him daily for four years

Former England and Tottenham footballer Paul Stewart has spoken of being sexually abused as a youth player.

Mr Stewart, who began his professional career with Blackpool and also played for Manchester City and Liverpool, told the Mirror an unnamed coach abused him daily for four years.

It comes after two ex-Crewe players said a club coach abused them as boys.

Eleven people have contacted Cheshire Police since one of the men, Andy Woodward, went public with his story.

Mr Woodward and Steve Walters spoke of being abused at the hands of coach Barry Bennell, who was jailed for nine years in 1998.

Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor said he expected the number of players coming forward to rise.

Mr Taylor said: "We're now seeing more and more players come out and having the confidence to come out," he said.

"We're now meeting up with other such players and looking to counsel and advise them with regard to the current situation and the future."

image copyrightAndy Woodward
image captionFormer Crewe, Sheffield United and Bury defender Andy Woodward spoke out after waiving lifetime anonymity offered to victims of sexual offences

The three players have each waived their right to anonymity as sex abuse victims.

Mr Stewart told the Mirror he was abused up to the age of 15 and said his attacker got away with it by threatening to kill his relatives if he ever mentioned it.


He has blamed the abuse for drink and drug problems later in his career.

In the Mirror, he said: "I have seen a counsellor, but I am resigned to the fact it will always be there and it is how I deal with it. I don't sit around the house crying all the time, but tears are a release at times."

Cheshire Police said Mr Walters was one of the people who had contacted the force since Mr Woodward's story was published.

Det Insp Sarah Hall, from the force's public protection unit, said: "We have now been made aware of a number of people who have come forward wishing to speak to the police.

"At this stage we are in the process of making contact with them, and to date no arrests have been made and no one else is under investigation."

image copyrightPA
image captionSteve Walters has also said he was abused while a child at Crewe

Crewe chairman John Bowler has told BBC sports editor Dan Roan he was "infuriated and very disappointed" over the crimes of Bennell.

Mr Bowler, who was chairman at the time of Bennell's offences, was asked about whether more could have been done. He replied: "When we've done our inquiries and looked at the detail of the various accusations, then I'll be in a position to answer that kind of question."

image copyrightPA
image captionBarry Bennell was jailed for nine years in 1998

Mr Woodward told BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday that he believed his experience was "the tip of the iceberg".

A spokesman for the NSPCC praised the former Sheffield United and Bury defender for coming forward, adding there was "more to be done in the world of sport" to keep children safe.

image copyrightPA
image captionPaul Stewart (left) scored for Spurs when they beat Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup final

Related Topics

  • Child sexual abuse in football

More on this story

  • Second footballer comes forward over abuse at Crewe Alexandra

  • Ex-footballer Andy Woodward on being sexually abused by coach