Ex-England player White latest to claim coach sex abuse

David White

Former Manchester City and England player David White has become the fourth footballer to speak publicly about being sexually abused as a child by a coach.

White follows ex-Crewe players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters, and former Tottenham forward Paul Stewart.

The 49-year-old claims former Crewe coach Barry Bennell, a convicted paedophile, abused him.

Cheshire Police said 11 people had come forward since Woodward went public.

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) expects that number to rise.

The four players to speak publicly have each waived their right to anonymity as sex abuse victims.

In a statement, White said he was sexually abused by Bennell in the late 1970s and early 1980s, while playing for Whitehill FC junior team in Manchester.

He said: “For a number of reasons, and for nearly two decades, I kept my ordeal secret from my family and friends.

“While I believe throughout my football career I have come to terms with what had happened, I now realise the effects of Bennell’s actions were much more far-reaching than I knew then.

“Last year I made the decision to gather my thoughts, reflect on my experience, and tell my life story in my own words. I did not set out to write a story about the abuse, but knew I would have to include it.

“In doing so I have come to terms with the fact that Bennell’s actions influenced almost every event and relationship in my life.”

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Woodward, 43, and Walters, 44, have also spoken about being abused by Bennell, who was jailed for nine years in 1998 for sexual offences against children.

Bennell, who worked as a football scout and coach at Crewe Alexandra in the 1980s and 90s, admitted 23 specimen charges of sexual offences against six boys, aged nine to 15.

Stewart, 52, a former England international who started his career at Blackpool and also played for Manchester City and Liverpool, told the Mirror