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Ex-England midfielder Stewart speaks of sex abuse

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Allsport

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Paul Stewart, whose clubs included Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City, said an unnamed coach abused him daily for four years

Former England and Tottenham footballer Paul Stewart has spoken of being sexually abused as a youth player.

Mr Stewart, who began his professional career with Blackpool and also played for Manchester City and Liverpool, told the Mirror an unnamed coach abused him daily for four years.

It comes after two ex-Crewe players said a club coach abused them as boys.

The boss of the Professional Footballers’ Association said he expected more players to come forward.

Andy Woodward was the first to speak out, followed by Steve Walters, who told the Guardian of being abused by coach Barry Bennell, who was jailed for nine years in 1998.

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Andy Woodward

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Former Crewe, Sheffield United and Bury defender Andy Woodward spoke out after waiving lifetime anonymity offered to victims of sexual offences

The three players have each waived their right to anonymity as a sex abuse victim.

Mr Stewart told the Mirror he was abused up to the age of 15 and said his attacker got away with it by threatening to kill his relatives if he ever mentioned it.

He has blamed the abuse for drink and drug problems later in his career.

‘Double figures’

In the Mirror, he said: “I have seen a counsellor, but I am resigned to the fact it will always be there and it is how I deal with it. I don’t sit around the house crying all the time, but tears are a release at times.”

PFA chief Gordon Taylor said: “I would suggest there’s going to be into double figures from what I am hearing that once Andy has come out, we’re now seeing more and more players come out and having the confidence to come out.

“But it’s going to take some time.

“We’re now meeting up with other such players and looking to counsel and advise them with regard to the current situation and the future.”

Cheshire Police said six people had contacted them since Mr Woodward went public, one of whom was Mr Walters.

Det Insp Sarah Hall, from the force’s public protection unit, said: “We have now been made aware of a number of people who have come forward wishing to speak to the police.

“At this stage we are in the process of making contact with them, and to date no arrests have been made and no one else is under investigation.”

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PA

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Steve Walters has also said he was abused while a child at Crewe

Crewe chairman John Bowler has told BBC sports editor Dan Roan he was “infuriated and very disappointed” over the crimes of Bennell.

Mr Bowler, who was chairman at the time of Bennell’s offences, was asked about whether more could have been done. He replied: “When we’ve done our inquiries and looked at the detail of the various accusations, then I’ll be in a position to answer that kind of question.”

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PA

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Barry Bennell was jailed for nine years in 1998

Mr Woodward told BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday that he believed his experience was “the tip of the iceberg”.

A spokesman for the NSPCC praised the former Sheffield United and Bury defender for coming forward, adding there was “more to be done in the world of sport” to keep children safe.

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PA

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Paul Stewart (left) scored for Spurs when they beat Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup final

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38075480