Ex-coach at centre of football abuse scandal in hospital

Barry BennellImage copyright

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Former football scout Barry Bennell ran summer holiday camps in the UK – including at Butlins

Ex-youth football coach Barry Bennell, who is at the centre of a sex abuse scandal, has been taken to hospital after being found unconscious.

The convicted sex offender was found at an address in Knebworth Park, Stevenage on Friday, Thames Valley Police said.

The force said the 62-year-old former Crewe coach remains in hospital.

Four police forces are investigating claims of historical abuse after a number of former players recently spoke out about their experiences.

Bennell was given a four-year sentence for raping a British boy on a football tour of Florida in 1994 and a nine-year sentence in 1998 for 23 offences against six boys in England.

Two weeks ago, former Crewe player Andy Woodward went public about the abuse he said he suffered at the hands of Bennell. A number of other former footballers have since come forward to make further allegations of abuse.

Who is Barry Bennell?

Abuse claims: What has happened so far?

Crewe Alexandra have begun their own independent review.

The Football Association has also confirmed it is investigating claims of sexual abuse in football.

East of England Ambulance Service said it had received “a report of an unconscious man and a crew attended the scene”.

In a statement, Thames Valley Police added it had dealt with a “fear for welfare incident”.

It added: “At this stage of enquiries, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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