The Guardian newspaper issued a report yesterday on the potential sexual abuse of young players in football and it was alleged a former player for Newcastle United has made comments about child abuse in football.
The abuse is alleged to have been associated with a coach who once worked at Newcastle – probably as a Youth team coach.
The story has just come out and Newcastle United have issued a statement about the matter, although it has taken everybody by surprise.
Earlier this week England captain Wayne Rooney encouraged people who have been abused to come forward following Andy Woodward’s revelation of the sexual abuse he suffered in the 1980s from coach Barry Bennell while he was at Crewe Alexandra.
Bennell was later convicted as a paedophile.
So there is growing evidence of potential widespread abuse in football of younger players.
This is the statement issued by Newcastle United this morning.
At this time, the only information we have is that which appeared in the Guardian newspaper.
Clearly Newcastle United will cooperate fully with the police and relevant authorities and provide every assistance we can if or when the club receives further information.
The club would encourage anyone with information about possible child abuse in our game to report their concerns to the police, the football authorities or the NSPCC.
The FA has commissioned in conjunction with the NSPCC a specific help line for individuals who wish to come forward with further information.
The number is 0800 023 2642.