While football continues to establish as the biggest sport around the globe, there are people who try to malign the beautiful culture of the sport. In a shocking revelation made by a former Manchester City footballer, he alleged that he was sexually abused over 100 times by Coach Barry Bennell. Recalling the horrific experience the player revealed chilling details of the physical assault he had to embrace in the early stages of his career. He had high hopes from Bennell as a manager and thought he could be the man who would build his professional career but to his dismay, the man turned out to be a lethal hound who would go on to destroy his inner strength.

Now in the 40s, the man detailed that during his stint in Manchester as a youth player he had witnessed several boys including him getting used to the bed by coach Bennell, 64. He went on to say that there used to be an ‘untold rule’ among the young boys not to expose the harassment as their places in the Manchester City playing squad was at risk. Luring them to a spot in the youth team, Benell would force himself on the boys. The victim Chris Unsworth told a Liverpool court that he was abused by former Manchester City coach and youth scout Bennell from the age nine or ten until fourteen or fifteen. He also alleged that he was raped at least ‘about a half a dozen times’ during that time. Benell has 48 sex assault charges on him involving eleven boys which he has denied. The alleged incidents took place between 1979 and 1991 when Unsworth was trying to progress through ranks at City.

However, Bennell has admitted having sexually abused three boys aged fourteen at least seven times. Chris Unsworth recalled the haunting nights when he along with other youth footballers was made to watch horror movies in the night at the accused coach’s place while sleeping in his bed with other players. He said sometimes the coach would have three boys sharing the bed with him. The incident sent ‘chills down my spine’ remembered the victim.

“He was very clever – it was always lights off, music blaring out,” he told the police. “I learned how to shut down. When it happened I could literally shut down my emotions. All I know is every time I was abused, part of me closed down. When the tears came out my face, I shut my body down. He’d abuse me and I’d have tears rolling down my cheeks. He didn’t give a shit. That hurt. It didn’t stop him,” he told the court as quoted by the Guardian.

As a child when Unsworth decided to try his luck in football, his family kept busy in the daily course and unfortunately his responsibility was handed to Bennell who was then serving as a scout at Manchester City. The coach would pick and drop him home and take him to matches and training with him and that’s how the assault began.

“He would move his hands around your body on the outside of your clothes, tickle you, and you would have to do the same to him,” said Unsworth. The game would keep going until his hands were “inside your shirt or inside your underpants”, he added. “I just thought it was normal, this is what you have to do, Mr Unsworth said the abuse would take place regularly if not every time Mr Bennell gave him a lift.

“That game was pretty much ongoing until, basically, I walked away from football,” he told the court. He also told the jury that he was abused at Mr Bennell’s then home in the Peak District, where boys would watch horror movies in the dark, often sharing Mr Bennell’s bed. “That was his scene, he would try and scare the lads,” he told the court.
Bennell during interrogation by the police denied the claims and said the victim was ‘too young’ for him to get attracted. He admitted that Unsworth might have slept with him once or twice at his home but he never intended to sexually abuse him as he was too young for him. In the interview, Mr Bennell said: “I always tended to aim for the 13-year-olds because that was puberty age and they were becoming a bit more strong-willed and not tied to the apron strings.” Before this particular trail, the 64-year-old, an ex Crewe Alexandra F.C. coach had admitted having sexually abused three boys at least seven times.

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