Discover the harrowing truth about Barry Bennell, a self-confessed monster child abuser, in this in-depth exposé. Unravel the shocking details of his heinous crimes and the impact they had on innocent lives. This investigative report sheds light on the dark past of a notorious individual whose actions left a trail of devastation. Learn about the case’s legal proceedings, uncovering the efforts to seek justice and protect vulnerable children from such predators. Delve into the chilling accounts and uncover the lasting effects on the survivors. Through this comprehensive coverage, gain insight into the importance of awareness and preventative measures in safeguarding our communities. Read on to understand the significance of breaking the silence surrounding child abuse and the urgent need for collective action to ensure a safer future.
The name Barry Bennell has frequently come up whenever the subject of historical sexual abuse of kids in professional football arises to the forefront. That’s because the crimes committed by the former football coach and scout are now associated with a controversy that first surfaced in 2016.
Years of Barry Bennell, the heinous child molester’s abuse of helpless young boys went unpunished.
The young players were preyed upon by the youth football coach, who sold them on the idea of being the next big thing.
Bennell, a self-described monster, ruined a number of young people’s lives throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s with his repulsive behaviour.
Even when the abuse stopped, the aspiring footballers still had to deal with the psychological harm the despicable predator had done to them.
While Andy Woodward bravely came out in November 2016, the full scope of the historic child abuse scandal did not become clear until Bennell was ultimately arrested in 1994 for sexually molesting a 13-year-old British boy while on tour in Florida.
Bennell is currently in prison for 30 years after being found guilty of 52 child sexual assaults in 2018 and four more in 2020.
In the new docuseries Football’s Darkest Secret, the courageous victims discuss the abuse they endured as kids at the hands of Bennell and the perverse techniques he employed.
Achieving the trust of families
Bennell took advantage of his position of authority to groom and abuse his victims.
Bennell was able to gain the trust of the families of his victims in order to ensure that the boys would not talk to their parents and to dispel any suspicions.
The vulnerable players were made to feel nervous about disclosing what Bennell was doing to them by enlisting the support of their parents.
After a few months, he stated that he was interested in getting to know the boys better and welcomed them to stay at his house in pairs.
The first article on Bennell’s heinous crimes was written by football writer Danny Taylor, who explains: “One of his tricks, and he was very good at it, was winning the trust of the families.
In the case of Andy Woodward, a former Crew Alexandra and Bury player, it reached terrifying proportions when Bennell began dating his older sister Lynda.
The dark side
Some of Bennell’s victims have described him as a “spellbinding” and “mesmerising” figure.
The young players began by simply trying to impress their coach on the practise field because they expected to play at higher levels of football.
While putting on a lovely front, he quickly began to show his dark side in order to intimidate the children.
Former youth football player Ian Ackley describes Bennell as a “strict disciplinarian” who purposefully mocked people to show how nasty he could be.
“He would single out one or two people for ridicule,” Ackley describes in the documentary.
Bennell would also target distinct victims and eliminate those who opposed him.
Veteran Crewe player Steve Walters acknowledges he was afraid Bennell would ruin his career if he talked about the abuse.
Bennell had a tendency of assaulting boys, grooming them when they first entered his team and switching to younger targets when they grew up.
According to investigative writer Deborah Davies, “one of the most complex things the boys talked about, they knew there was succession.”
“They were aware of when they were being trained up by the older boy who was being moved out. They also understood that a younger male was being groomed when they turned into that older boy.
Bennell’s house has been compared to an “Aladdin’s cave of delights” because of the abundance of football items, Movies, and a gigantic, cutting-edge TV in his living room.
He used to scare the kids by playing scary movies, making them depend on him for protection.
There were a few people crying uncontrollably. They gathered together out of fear as Woodward explains.
Steve Walters, who would stay with Woodward in Bennell’s home, continues: Because one would be terrified, he would approach him more closely. All of that was a necessary step in his grooming.
Victims of Bennell
Woodward’s courageous decision to give up his confidentiality and reveal his ordeal prompted many other former youth players to come forth with disturbing detailed information of their own.
Bennell abused Woodward between the ages of 11 and 15 at Crewe Alexandra Academy.
Steve Walters, a former Crewe Alexandra midfielder, also spoke out after reading Woodward’s article.
Because he was “absolutely petrified,” Walters acknowledged he tried to ignore the 1980s abuse that took place at the club and pretended it never happened.
Walters broke down in tears during an appearance on the Victoria Derbyshire Show, explaining that he was afraid of running into his harasser Bennell.
Between the ages of 11 and 15, while playing for Manchester City youth teams, former youth footballer Gary Cliffe suffered hundreds of abuses from Bennell.
Cliffe claims that something “died inside” him and that he felt an ache within himself.
He dreaded going to practise and struggled in his own mind between his desire to play football and having to endure abuse.
Ian Ackley, a former young footballer who was scouted by Bennell at the age of nine, suffered molestation between 1979 and 1983.
He says there was a culture of fearful silence and that he was attacked hundreds of times and raped.
Ackley admits that hearing the specifics of the abuse is upsetting, but he feels that they must be shared in order for people to comprehend the destruction inflicted.
David White, a former Manchester City player for eight years, claimed that when he initially joined Bennell’s team, he immediately felt a part of something unique.
When playing for the Manchester Whitehill FC junior club in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a prey of the paedophile coach.