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09 Dec
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Posted by content at 06:31

Former Spurs player Paul Stewart has said that the number of sexual abuse victims within football could reach its hundreds.

Stewart, who says he was abused by a coach whilst he was a boy for four years, has sensationally disclosed that the sport could face hundreds of allegations on the scale of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

“Yes, I do, for sure,” Stewart said when asked if the scale of abuse could reach the Savile case.
“I would almost guarantee it as long as the victims are willing to come forward,” he added.

Stewart confessed that it was difficult for him as he showed his family the story before publication. He revealed further that he has not been able to show his son and two daughters the story in person.

“This has not been easy for me to do. But I felt that I needed to do this so other people will come out and with the hope that it may stop anyone who may be thinking of doing it again, in any walk of life – not just football. The access to children at sport level is very easy and it is the perfect ground for them to prey,” Stewart added.

The children charity NSPCC said it would send information of callers to the Police after callers of the hotline raised fed them with useful information. Allegation of abuse in football by coaches popped up last week as former Crewe player Andy Woodward publicly spoke about his experience by his youth coach Barry Bennell. Bennell has since been sentenced to nine years imprisonment after he admitted to sexual offences against six boys in 1998.

Other former football stars have opened up on cases of abuse, and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said it expected more people to come forward with their stories. Crewe former director of football Dario Gradi has denied knowledge of Bennell’s behaviour until his arrest in 1994. Crewe is expected to carry a review.