The Football Association and the Independant Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse are examining the initiation ceremonies that professional footballers have claimed that they were made to take part in as teenage players in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The initiation ceremonies have been described as, “horrific”. George Blackstock, a former apprentice for Stoke City has claimed that he was, “ dragged kicking and screaming to the first team’s dressing room and then sexually assaulted with the goalkeeper’s glove as punishment because the tea he had made for the senior players had gone cold.” The degrading ritual was known as “ gloving.”
Other football players have come forward, David Beckham has said that he was, “ forced to perform a sex act whilst looking at a photograph of a senior player.” Paul Scholes has reported that he was made to “ get into a tumble dryer which sparked an asthma attack.
The Independant Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse led by Clive Sheldon QC is trying to establish whether the football clubs knew about the ceremonies. To date Mr Sheldon has reviewed 1,266 boxes of evidence from the Football Association’s archives and expects to examine another 2092 boxes. It is reported that Mr Blackstock will give evidence as part of the investigation in the next few weeks.
It has also been revealed that the Football Association are investigating Mr Blackstock’s claims. Mr Blackstock has commented, “I’m very glad the FA is looking at including my case and I will never stop in pursuit of justice. Initiation ceremonies are trivialised as high jinks or banter, but for me it was absolute hell.”
Jordans Solicitors successfully represent numerous victims of historic physical and sexual abuse. We are able to guide our clients through the whole process of their claim and have the necessary expertise to ensure that our client’s cases are dealt with professional and sensitively.