Southampton are being sued by former players over the abuse they claim they suffered at the hands of Higgins — who the Football League, the police and social services warned football clubs, schools and youth groups in 1989 that he was a danger to children.
“In the minibus on the way back from a game, I overheard players making sexual innuendos about Higgins,” he told Sunsport.
“I knew then there was something wrong and told the manager (Chris Nicholl), ‘We need to sort this out. It’s quite serious and you’ve got to let the board deal with it.'”
Nicholl told Merrington the matter had been reported to the police but then came back to him and said someone should talk to Higgins and he thought Merrington was best placed to do so.
“I spoke to Bob privately on my own,” said Merrington.
“He got very annoyed when I said to him, ‘Look I’ve got to tell you I’m not happy with what I’ve heard, the players making comments about you.
“He flew off the handle, got very annoyed and stormed out of the room.
“About two weeks later he left.”