Phil Edwards, was a physiotherapist for Watford FC in the 1990s. He left the club in 1998. He died last July at the age of 60. His death came about a month after he was arrested for allegations of abuse against a teenager.
So far, more than 20 victims have now come forward that claim they were sexually abused by Edwards. One of the victims has stated that he told the club about the abuse. Many of the victims that have come forward to Hertfordshire Constabulary are from Watford’s junior system. It is believed that the number of victims will be a lot higher.
One of the victims who came through Watford’s academy structure, has said that:
“he would be very surprised if it didn’t reach the 50 mark or more.”
The victim has remained anonymous and described Edwards as a:
“predator and a paedophile who would take boys into rooms on their own and tell them to strip off until they were naked”
The former victim told The Athletic sports website, that the football club were aware of the allegations against Edwards, but “brushed it under the carpet.”
Edward was arrested last year for allegations of abuse that happened at Watford Leisure Centre Woodside, where he had worked for about 20 years. Edwards was released on bail but died a fortnight later at his home. A post mortem was carried out into his death, and it was revealed that he had died from heart disease.
A statement released at the time of the Edwards death by Watford FC said:
“We understand there will be levels of concern at the accusations of historic abuse during a period in the 1990s and the club is determined to discover the veracity of these allegations and how they may have impacted on those who came in contact with Mr Edwards via Watford FC”
“We would ask that anybody with concerns contacts the club on 01923 496374 or via firstname.lastname@example.org”
“All communication will be dealt with in the strictest confidence by our safeguarding team and evidence gathered before determining the next course of action.”
Jordans solicitors successfully represent numerous victims that have suffered sexual and physical abuse at various institutions. If you have been a victim of child abuse and would like to speak to our of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 955 094 or 0330 300 1103 or you can request a call back and a member of our team will contact you.