MARK GALLOWAY writes ‘The Not So Beautiful Game’ amidst football abuse allegations


By Mark Galloway

What On Earth Has Happened Behind The Scene Of The Beautiful Game?

The dark side of the beautiful game has reared its ugly head, after a former Sheffield United Player has made allegations about former Crewe Alexandra Football Club Coach Barry Bennell.  Three other former players have now all spoken out about the same coach.  The former coach, who has been jailed 3 times, one of those times in America for abusing children, is out on licence.  Since the allegations were made public, the police have raided his home and removed a number of items, but no arrests have been made.

In an interview on Thursday’s edition of Victoria Derbyshire, Andy Woodward, Steve Walters, Chris Unsworth and Jason Dunford all spoke emotionally about being abused as children.  The four former professional footballers have waivered their rights to lifelong anonymity, to speak up in the hope that others who’ve faced the same abuse and are living with the consequences will come forward.  Also on Thursday, a hotline was set up with the NSPCC for football related matters 0800 023 2642.  So far it has received over 50 calls.

Newcastle United FC have now been brought into the fold after an un-named formed player known to media sources, contacted the police claiming convicted former youth coach George Ormond abused him as a young player, during his time at their youth academy.

Four different police forces have now opened enquiries into sex abuse allegations after a rise in people coming forward.  The Metropolitan Police, Hampshire Police, Cheshire Police and Northumbria Police all have separate but related investigations into allegations of abuse.  So far no other clubs or individuals have been named, but the allegations are growing by the day.  The metropolitan Police have stated that the investigations could venture into other sports as the calls are now becoming more frequent.

In a fortnight which has seen Wayne Rooney, equal Sir Booby Moore’s goal scoring record and receiving some vicious, vindictive media slandering.  The England and Manchester United FC Captain has shown first class leadership in being the first high profile footballer, to speak out in support of all the victims and has given his 100% backing, to the NSPCC Football Hotline by stating, “Don’t suffer in silence”


NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless was ecstatic about Rooney’s support for the campaign to safeguard the game’s next generation of players, being a child prodigy himself.

“I am delighted that Wayne has backed our helpline in support of his fellow players,” said Wanless.


“He’s a hero to millions, hugely admired by others at every level of the game, and I hope his words give courage to those who may be afraid of coming forward.


“We know that men are less likely to speak up about abuse, and from the response to our hotline so far it’s clear that this could be the tip of the iceberg, so we are very grateful to Wayne for lending his support.”


An un-named police source stated this could be even bigger and more harrowing than the Jimmy Savile scandal in the light of Jason Dunford’s statement of Barry Bennell, “I think Savile looks like a choirboy compared to this fella.”


Expect more revelations in the days, weeks and months to come.

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