UK football sex abuse claims rise as Rooney lauds victims

Rooney urged any player who had been affected to call the hotline and no longer “suffer in silence.”

“It’s awful that some of my colleagues have suffered this way whilst playing the sport that I and they love,” the Manchester United forward said.

“Andy (Woodward) has been really brave to come forward and I would encourage anyone who has or is suffering from abuse to call the NSPCC’s new football helpline.

“It’s important that people know that it’s ok to speak out, there is help available and that they don’t need to suffer in silence.”

– Death threats –

Former Manchester City and England forward David White became the fourth ex-player to allege abuse by a youth coach, following previous announcements by Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart.

White, Woodward and Walters all allege they were abused by Bennell. 

Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Stewart, capped three times by England, said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by an unnamed man who threatened to kill his family if he told anyone.

Sky News reported that 11 people have now approached Cheshire Police in northwest England with information on football-related abuse and that officers are now contacting them. No arrests have been made.

The Guardian newspaper said it had been approached by a former Newcastle United player, whose identity it did not reveal, alleging he had been the victim of abuse while at the northeast club.

The ex-player has named George Ormond as the offender, claiming he was sexually abused by a man who has already had a six-year prison sentence for convictions involving boys from the club’s youth system over a 24-year period.

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