The dedicated NSPCC football sex abuse hotline has received a staggering number of calls. The NSPCC have reported that they have received 860 calls in the first week.
Mr Peter Wanless, Chief of the NSPCC has commented that the response has,” demonstrated a worrying extent of abuse that has been going on within the sport. The number of high profile football players bravely speaking out about their ordeal has rightly caught the attention of the whole country.”
Former football coach Barry Bennell has been charged with eight offences of sexual assaults against a boy under the age of fourteen. He is due to appear before the South Cheshire Magistrates Court on the 14th December 2016. The offences are reported to have been committed between 1981 and 1985.
Derek Bell, former Newcastle player is the latest footballer to come forward and speak about the abuse he has suffered by George Ormond. The abuse took place when he was playing for Montagu and North Fenham boys’ football club. He has stated that he was “groomed and abused” by Ormond in the 1970’s between the ages of twelve to sixteen.
Ormond was convicted of sexual assaults in 2002. He was jailed for a period of six years. Derek Bell has disclosed that, “Ormond subjected him to, “horrific, horrific abuse on hundreds of occasions.”
Derek Bell has told the BBC that he saw Ormond when he was working the grounds of a hostel as an adult and this prompted him to go to Ormond’s house. He visited Ormond on two occasions. On the first occasion he visited Ormond with a knife, he says with the intention to harm him, but Ormond was out. On the second occasion he visited with a tape recorder with the intention of trying to expose Ormond’s crimes.
He says that, “not one time did he say that he was sorry. He just said that I don’t know why. His main aim was you’re not going to tell the Police are you.” Derek Bell has disclosed that the effects of the abuse have led him to try and take his own life on three occasions and to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
The BBC have been told by Derek Bell that his main aim in coming forward is to raise awareness and help other victims to come forward. A total of fifteen police forces are now investigating allegations of historical abuse. The Football Association have announced an internal review and many football clubs are reviewing their procedures and conducting enquires. Chelsea Football Club has confirmed that they are investigating allegations of sexual abuse against a deceased employee who worked for them in the 1970’s.
Liz Nicholl, the UK Sport’s Chief Executive has advised how other sports should be responding to the allegations. “We would certainly want the sport to evidence the action it’s taking to deal with the issue and if was are concerned in any way, if there was inaction, then we would consider our funding relationship with the sport.” Currently, money is allocated to clubs, charities, institutions and local authorise from the Government and the National Lottery.
A spokesman for Essex Police has said, “We need those who have been the victim of child sexual abuse to report it to the Police. We urge anyone who may have information regarding child sexual abuse to come forward. When allegations are reported, it enables police to assess whether there are current safeguarding risks and ensure action is taken.”
We would encourage anyone affected to contact the Police to report their allegations. Jordans are currently representing a large number of clients who have suffered abuse. If you would like assistance in pursuing a claim we would urge you to contact us.
The NSPCC hotline number is 0800 023 264 and is available 24 hours a day.