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Small positive from the dreadful football child abuse revelations

I'm not surprised no one wants to discuss this, and I only do so because on the World at One today, Charlton came up - but in a positive way.

Apparently there was a Dispatches programme on this way back in 1997. The programme maker came on today to talk about it, how the FA blanked them and swept it all under the carpet. She then said "It could have been stopped even then - we did some filming with Charlton Athletic" . I held my breath, dreading what I was about to hear. However she went on "they already had a programme in place; a really simple set of rules that ensured this kind of thing could not take place". Phew. And well done to our club back in the day. But we were a great club, from top to bottom, back in the day.
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Comments

  • Birds old man mentioned to me a minute ago that the bloke in question used to have the youth players stay at his house and it came out that Gary Speed was one of them. Could that be part of the reason he killed himself.

    Awful stuff and think there's going to be so much more coming out
  • I remember the programme @PragueAddick Les Reed was very instrumental in setting up that all coaches inside the club received safeguarding coaching.

    I have just finished my level 1 coaching course and safeguarding is one element now.
  • I've seen Paul Stewart speak on TV, on a number of occasions yesterday and today.

    I have nothing but total admiration for him in doing so, as well as the others. Absolutely heartbreaking and brought a tear to my eye.

    Well said, 100% agree.
  • edited November 2016

    Birds old man mentioned to me a minute ago that the bloke in question used to have the youth players stay at his house and it came out that Gary Speed was one of them. Could that be part of the reason he killed himself.

    Awful stuff and think there's going to be so much more coming out

    According to the article I read, Gary Speed's family say he wasn't abused by him, but I guess the only ones who would know for certain would be Bennell and Speed so for differing reasons we're unlikely to ever know.
  • Not wishing to pick holes or or take away from the rightful praise Charlton were getting for having some protections in place but there are no ways to "ensure this kind of thing could not take place", just strategies that make it to be harder and provide better protections for the kids.

    My wife works in child protection social care so hearing about child abuse cases has become a depressingly regular part of my life. The predatory paedophile is mercifully a rare, if incredibly destructive, beast, but one thing these high profile cases have taught us is that those who choose to hunt down kids to abuse are often resourceful, organised and often work in groups and hide in plain sight.

    Kudos to the club for taking steps above and beyond the standard at the time, but this is not an area where you should ever be complacent and just assume it couldn't happen to you.

    The words I quoted from the interview may not have been 100% accurate, just what I remembered. I totally accept the point you are making.

  • Upsetting even seeing a brief clip Andy Woodward and his fellow victims interviewed on Victoria Derbyshire's Programme.
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  • I'm glad you brought this up @PragueAddick as had been thinking similar myself. Not sure if there is another thread on the subject but this seems as good as any.

    I played youth football to a shit/semi shit standard in the 80's and although I now have the benefit of hindsight and older age/experience there were unquestionably things that went on that were "odd" at best, and possibly a lot more to it at worst.

    I hope this is not another "Saville" type scenario, but you know what - from my Limited experience I would bot be at all surprised.
  • I watched Victoria Derbyshire's programme today with tears in my eyes.

    I have personal experience of being abused - not by a football coaching but by a piano teacher in my parents front room.

    It stopped when I was 13 and I buried the whole thing in the darker recesses of my mind and got on with my life.

    I got married and eventually felt safe enough to tell my wife and also my sister. I couldn't tell my parents. I never have - they are both dead.

    When the Saville stuff started to come out, I decided I was not going to hide anymore and I have spoken up about it now. Even my son knows now.

    I did share it on here a few years ago when others had shared. It helped hugely.

    Those ex Footballers sharing their story so publically are very brave. They will need counseling - I did - but sharing is the start of healing. I hope more come forward - whether publicly or just to their nearest and dearest.

    I applaud them and yourself bing for having the courage to let people know of these crimes.

    It must help others so much that have been through and are maybe still going through the same, with both their own lives and the possibility of bringing justice.

  • I don't want to hijack this thread. I just applaud them for coming forward and empathise with them.
  • One thing that is very sad is that Andy Woodward confided about his abuse by Bennell with two managers at Bury, Stan Ternent and Colin Warnock, and although it is clear that both expressed sympathy neither of them felt they could come forward to the authorities about the abuse. I would hope that has now changed.

    It was mentioned on the news that a Premier League footballer did not want to come into the open because of the chants he would receive from the crowd - surely that can no longer be true? Surely any idiots trying to start such abuse would be shouted down pretty quickly?
  • sm said:

    One thing that is very sad is that Andy Woodward confided about his abuse by Bennell with two managers at Bury, Stan Ternent and Colin Warnock, and although it is clear that both expressed sympathy neither of them felt they could come forward to the authorities about the abuse. I would hope that has now changed.

    It was mentioned on the news that a Premier League footballer did not want to come into the open because of the chants he would receive from the crowd - surely that can no longer be true? Surely any idiots trying to start such abuse would be shouted down pretty quickly?

    You would certainly hope so......... but football is a cruel environment.

    That in itself can have its good and bad points, but I think that is still a step too far for the "norm"
  • Proud of my club.

    Horrific story.

    Just really sad
  • Not really sure the 'club' aspect needs to be highlighted. This is purely down to the sick and twisted behaviour of individuals, regardless of what clubs they were linked to.

    Clubs can have the most stringent frameworks, guidelines, best practices in place. I expect all have now and none did in the 80s. Even now though, you can't police everything 100% despite things are far better regulated.

    The important thing though AFKA is that the Dispatches producer was arguing that much of the current abuse could have been avoided if the Charlton policies had been copied by other clubs, but instead the rest of football, particularly the authorities, turned a blind eye. This producer made this film in 1997. 19 years later she watches these new revelations and believes that none of these footballers would have suffered if their clubs had the same approach as Charlton did.

    I will try and dig out the clip if it is possible. I certainly did not wish to make a tribal point, although I did feel relieved that the perception we were a 'model" club in those days, extended to important matters like this. And if Les Reed drove that, hats off to a very decent man.

  • The documentary has now popped up on YouTube:

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  • Birds old man mentioned to me a minute ago that the bloke in question used to have the youth players stay at his house and it came out that Gary Speed was one of them. Could that be part of the reason he killed himself.

    Awful stuff and think there's going to be so much more coming out

    That's heartbreaking if it is the case.
  • Upsetting even seeing a brief clip Andy Woodward and his fellow victims interviewed on Victoria Derbyshire's Programme.

    Seen the whole programme now and it's amazing how brave they are and I hope more, if they feel they can, join them.

    I also hope Bennell is alive after the recent news so he can stand trial (why hadn't he been arrested straight away?) and the Police can find out more of the abusers through him.

  • Not really sure the 'club' aspect needs to be highlighted. This is purely down to the sick and twisted behaviour of individuals, regardless of what clubs they were linked to.

    Clubs can have the most stringent frameworks, guidelines, best practices in place. I expect all have now and none did in the 80s. Even now though, you can't police everything 100% despite things are far better regulated.

    I certainly take your point about the fact that this can happen anywhere, anytime, and it can be down to luck, even with the best of policies in place. But I don't want to overlook the fact that individuals and organizations had the agency to act on reports, investigate rumors, and ensure the children they were in charge of were safe. I know the '80s was a different time, and I know right now there is nothing to indicate a cover-up or criminal negligence, but I don't want us to lose sight of the fact that reaction is incredibly important, and that people are held accountable for those responses.

    If you're not already familiar, I recommend (maybe "recommend" is too strong) reading about the Penn State sex abuse scandal, where one of the assistant coaches spent decades molesting boys (warning, it's pretty grim and disgusting). After a lengthy investigation it was discovered that various people had come forward saying they'd seen him doing inappropriate things. None of this is to say that Crewe or any of the other clubs knew what was going on, or should have, or that they did anything wrong, but hopefully investigations into this will thoroughly review if there were any warning signs that were missed (or intentionally ignored).

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/28/us/penn-state-scandal-fast-facts/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/penn-state-should-own-its-role-in-the-sandusky-scandal/2016/05/10/41eea4ce-16b3-11e6-924d-838753295f9a_story.html

  • BingAddick thank you for sharing with us. You are very brave. I hope your sharing with us is an indication that you're healing as best you can.
  • edited November 2016
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  • edited November 2016
    sm said:

    One thing that is very sad is that Andy Woodward confided about his abuse by Bennell with two managers at Bury, Stan Ternent and Colin Warnock, and although it is clear that both expressed sympathy neither of them felt they could come forward to the authorities about the abuse. I would hope that has now changed.

    It was mentioned on the news that a Premier League footballer did not want to come into the open because of the chants he would receive from the crowd - surely that can no longer be true? Surely any idiots trying to start such abuse would be shouted down pretty quickly?

    You would hope and think so, but Eric Bristow's crass comments suggest that not all think that way.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/nov/29/eric-bristow-loses-sky-sports-role-twitter-sex-abuse-story-comments
  • I had tears in my eyes too when I saw the Victoria Derbyshire programme, @bingaddick . Unlike you, I thankfully avoided such serious unpleasantness. I find hard to imagine how you, these footballers and others preyed upon feel even though my wife is a psychotherapist and comes across some tough stuff. I respect you, @bingaddick.
  • edited November 2016
    Cheers guys. I have come out the other side. They say that what doesn't kill you makes you strong.

    I notice Eric Bristow has got in trouble for some comments about these footballers being weak. I have heard of victims of abuse being castigated for not coming forward earlier - in the Saville case for example.

    These guys are incredibly brave - they certainly are not at all weak. There will be many others - I am sure of that. They will have tried desperately to have buried these terrible events in their minds to get on with their lives. Most will not have told a soul.

    I believe most will come forward - now they have seen that they are not alone - the fear they will have lived in for years will start to abate. Fear of what these monsters made them feel. Fear of the self-loathing of
    "why me?"
    "Why didn't I stop it?"
    "It was my fault"
    "If people find out they will judge me as a weak or as behaving inappropriately"

    Believe me I went through all of these things but now I am strong. I can tell my story, I am not afraid any more. For me I can say that despite my encounter with a sad weasel bully of a man that I have a great life and a wonderful wife family and circle of friends, and he died still the sad weasel bully that he was.
  • Eric Bristow turns out to be an utterly ignorant and insensitive cunt.

    Who'd ever have thought it?
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