The pedophile coach at the center of an abuse scandal that has rocked English football has been taken to hospital by police responding to a “fear for welfare incident” it was announced yesterday.
Barry Bennell has been at the center of numerous claims after former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward came forward to reveal he was abused by the convicted child molester in the 1980s.
A statement issued by Thames Valley police yesterday referring to Bennell said: “Police officers attended an address in Knebworth Park, Stevenage just before 11:00pm on Friday, November 25, in connection with a fear for welfare incident. A 62-year-old man was located and was taken to hospital in order to receive medical treatment, where he remains.”
The Guardian daily, the first to interview Woodward, reported that Bennell had been found unconscious.
Bennell, who worked for Crewe, Manchester City and Stoke City, sexually abused young boys across three decades starting in the 1970s. He was given a four-year sentence for raping a British boy during a football tour of Florida in 1994 and a nine-year term for 23 offenses against six boys in England in 1998.
He was jailed again in 2015 for abusing a boy at a football camp in Macclesfield, northwest England, in 1980.
Sunday saw England’s governing Football Association react to the recent revelations by announcing it had appointed top lawyer Kate Gallafent, an expert in child protection, to assist it with an internal review of the allegations.
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of England’s Professional Footballers’ Association, said the number of players who had made similar allegations was now over 20, with up to seven clubs concerned.