Paedophile football coach who abused young players was living in Bucks before latest prison sentence

A paedophile football coach who has twice been jailed for abusing young footballers coming through the academies where he worked was living in Buckinghamshire under an assumed name it has emerged.

Thursday, 24th November 2016, 11:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:26 am
Bennell was reportedly living under an assumed name in nearby MK, Bucks

Scout and coach Barry Bennell was jailed in the 1990s after admitting a string of sickening sex assaults against young footballers while at Crewe Alexandra.

The pervert worked for the Cheshire-based lower league side and was closely linked to Manchester City and Stoke City.

One of Bennell’s victims, former footballer Andy Woodward, waived his right to anonymity to speak out in an exclusive interview with The Guardian last week.

And Woodward - who talked in detail about his harrowing ordeal at the hands of predatory Bennell - said he believes there are potentially hundreds of victims who have not spoken out given the former coach’s years of employment at Crewe in the 1980s and 1990s and close association in the past with Stoke City and Manchester City, as well as junior teams in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

Bennell was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1998 after admitting 23 specimen charges of sexual offences against six boys aged nine to 15. Woodward was among the victims at Crewe and told The Guardian he knows of other former pros who were targeted.

One-time England international and former Manchester City player David White has also since come forward alleging he was abused by Bennell, telling The Guardian his “life was torn apart” by the coach.

Woodward suspects many more victims ever made it as professional footballers, whereas his own career, also featuring spells at Bury, Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United, ended at the age of 29 because he was unable to cope with the horrendous after effects of what he had to endure.

Brave former footballer Andy Woodward has spoken out about the abuse he suffered

Bennell, now 62, was jailed for two years in May 2015 for another historic case involving a 12-year-old boy in Macclesfield.

The Guardian article reveals Bennell had adopted the name Richard Jones and was living in nearby Milton Keynes, Bucks, before his last prison sentence and is now believed to be free from jail.

In a 2012 interview with the Sunday Times Bennell admitted that former Everton, Newcastle, Leeds and Wales midfield star Gary Speed - who was the manager of Wales when he died in November 2011 - was one of the youngsters who stayed at his house.

Bennell told the newspaper he had not abused Speed, but added that even if he had done he would be unlikely to admit it anyway.

Brave former footballer Andy Woodward has spoken out about the abuse he suffered

Lawyers for Speed’s wife, Louise, subsequently put out a statement saying they had been assured that Speed was not one of Bennell’s victims.