Second footballer comes forward over abuse at Crewe Alexandra

Steve Walters while playing for MorecambeImage copyright

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Steve Walters pictured playing for Morecambe, later in his career

A second former footballer has spoken of being sexually abused by Barry Bennell while at Crewe Alexandra.

Steve Walters – who was the club’s youngest debutant in 1988 – has spoken to the Guardian newspaper.

Last week, Andy Woodward waived his anonymity about abuse he suffered at the club between the age of 11 to 15.

Bennell, a coach at the club, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1998 after admitting sexual offences against six boys.

The club has not yet responded to the latest claims.

‘More to be done’

Earlier, chairman John Bowler said: “We are a proud football club and would always take any allegation seriously.”

Mr Bowler said the club had needed time to review the situation after Mr Woodward went public last week.

“When things come out of the blue like this, you first want to make inquiries and reflect from within,” he said.

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Andy Woodward

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Andy Woodward spoke out after waiving lifetime anonymity offered to victims of sexual offences

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

The organisation said: “It is time for the government and sports organisations to work together to close gaps in child protection and make sure that the thousands of sports clubs across the country have robust safeguarding policies in place.”

Sue Ravenlaw, head of equality and safeguarding at the Football Association, also praised Mr Woodward, 43, for his “immense courage” in going public with his story.

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