Former youth football coach Barry Bennell, one of the top talent spotters in Britain with ties to major clubs like Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra, spent his days coaching children and his nights abusing them.
Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit profiles six men, all victims of Bennell, and explores the long-term impact of his serial abuse.
Deborah Davies first reported on Barry Bennell’s crimes 20 years ago. She has befriended his victims and has a rare insight into their plight.
In a powerful and heartbreaking documentary, she describes how some have turned to substance abuse and even attempted suicide. More than a few have not survived, one likely victim being his most famous player, former Wales international and manager Gary Speed.
The investigation uncovers new evidence that, according to teammates, Speed was abused by Bennell.
The programme also reveals that high-profile clubs, as well as Britain’s Football Association, failed to protect children and in some cases failed to act on warnings.
After this film was made, Crewe Alexandra said that the Club was not aware of any sexual abuse by Bennell nor received any complaints about sexual abuse by him.
They say the police investigated the Club’s knowledge, including interviewing Hamilton Smith and found no evidence to corroborate that it was aware of Bennell’s offending.
Crewe’s statement can be found here:
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