Scottish footballer alleges abuse

Photo credit: Andrew Smith
Photo credit: Andrew Smith
Photo credit: Andrew Smith

A Scottish footballer has come forward about his abuse from former football coach, Barry Bennell.

Dougie Gilligan, from Hamilton, claims he was abused on two separate occasions during a coaching camp when he was 13 years old, by the convicted paedophile, Bennell.

This follows an investigation into football’s recent child abuse scandal. Over 20 ex-footballers have come forward since 16th November.

The Football Association has set up an internal review investigating various clubs’ links to the  allegations.

Chairman, Greg Clarke told Sky News that this child sex abuse scandal is one of the biggest crises in the history of the Football Association.

He added:

“I think the moral consequences of failing to deal with some of these issues in the past we must get to the bottom of.”

According to Sky News, the former youth coach warned police there could be hundreds of victims. Several former footballers have waived their right to anonymity in order to raise awareness of alleged historical abuse in football.

Investigations into allegations of historical sexual abuse are taking place from police forces in Cheshire, Hampshire, Northumbria, the Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester.

Bennell is currently in hospital after being found unconscious on Friday. Police found him at an address in Stevenage after responding to a ‘fear for welfare incident’.

Bennell coached for Crewe, Manchester City and several teams in north-west England and the Midlands. He was given a four year sentence in 1994 for abusing a boy on a football tour, and a nine year sentence in 1998 for 23 offences against six boys in England.

Gilligan told BBC News:

“[He was] a classic predatory paedophile groomer to be honest. But at the time, as a 13-year-old boy, you don’t see that”.

Ex-footballer, Andy Woodward also told BBC News:

“It was his way of finding out which players were the weaker ones or the softer ones. It started within a few weeks. Initially it was sexually touching but it rapidly got worse and he raped me. I don’t want to put a number on how many times it happened, but it was over a four-year period.”