The recent spate of allegations made across the country by ex-footballers accusing coaches of sexual abuse has now implicated Southampton Football Club with an ex-employee accused of historical child abuse. According to the BBC, the figure around whom the allegations centre is still employed in football at another club.
To date, at least four individuals have come forward to make allegations of abuse by the ex-employee when he worked for Southampton F. C.’s youth section in the 1980s.
Two, Dean Radford and Jamie Webb, waved their right to anonymity to speak openly in graphic detail about incidents that they say occurred at the club when in their teens.
Radford says the club employee “groomed” youth players and made them write “love” letters to him, while Webb believes the club hierarchy “must have known [about the abuse], they must have heard these rumours going around because everybody else had”.
In a statement, Southampton F. C. confirmed they have contacted Hampshire Police about historical child abuse allegations and that-
“The club has informed Hampshire Police that we will offer our full support to any investigation they undertake, for as long as it takes, and with our full focus”
According to the BBC Radio 4 Programme, the individual in question left the club after concerns were raised about his conduct with young players under his charge.
These are the latest allegations that have surfaced nationwide in the last fortnight or so as a number of individuals have come forward to report being victims of historical child abuse when playing in football youth teams.
Hampshire Police are one of 18 forces across the country investigating the claims and the National Police Chiefs’ Council say that so far around 350 people have reported abuse allegations.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Children (NSPCC), have created a dedicated helpline. It is available 24 hours a day, at 0800 023 2642.