Leeds United, Sheffield United and these child sex claims: How football’s biggest scandal unfolded

11 police forces are now embroiled in the growing child sex abuse scandal, with more than 20 ex-players alleging they were victims.
11 police forces are now embroiled in the growing child sex abuse scandal, with more than 20 ex-players alleging they were victims.
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The growing scandal surrounding allegations of historical child sex abuse has shocked the world of football.

Several accusations have been levelled against convicted child abuser Barry Bennell, who worked for Crewe, Manchester City, Stoke and junior teams in north-west England and the Midlands.

Leeds United linked to allegations of sex abuse

Allegations have also been made against other coaches.

Here is a timeline showing the key events and revelations so far:

November 16

• Former Sheffield United player Andy Woodward becomes the first to speak out about his experience of abuse. The ex-footballer tells The Guardian he was abused by Bennell, a former Crewe Alexandra coach, while he was a youth player at the club.

November 22

• Ex-Crewe player Steve Walters alleges that he was also abused by Bennell. In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Walters claims he was groomed and repeatedly abused by the convicted paedophile after joining Crewe’s youth team when he was 12.

November 23

• Former England international Paul Stewart speaks out about being abused by a football coach when he was a child. He tells the Daily Mirror he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by an unnamed man, who threatened to kill his family if he told them.

• Former England, Leeds United and Sheffield United forward David White becomes the fourth retired footballer in a week to say he was abused at the start of his career. He alleges Bennell abused him while he was attached to Whitehill FC, a junior team based in Manchester.

November 24

• The Guardian reports that an unnamed former Newcastle United player has contacted police with allegations against coach George Ormond.

Ormond, who was based in the north-east, was jailed for six years in 2002 for carrying out numerous assaults spanning 24 years.

• The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) launches a dedicated hotline for sexual abuse victims within the football community.

It receives 50 calls within the first two hours.

• Manchester City says it is investigating any past links Bennell had with the club.

November 25

• Manchester City youth player Jason Dunford and Crewe youngster Chris Unsworth also make allegations against Bennell. The pair allege they were victims of the former coach in an interview on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

• The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said it would be “watching events closely”, as four police forces confirm they are investigating allegations.

November 26

• A former Crewe Alexandra board member says the club was told Bennell had sexually abused one of its junior footballers. Hamilton Smith, who was on the board between 1986 and 1990, tells The Guardian he called for a meeting after being told a boy had been abused.

• Crewe announces it will conduct an independent review into the way the club dealt with historical child abuse allegations.

November 27

• The Football Association says it has appointed Kate Gallafent QC to assist with its internal review into historical child sex abuse allegations.

• Anthony Hughes, who represented England at the 1993 World Youth Championships, becomes the latest player to waive anonymity and make allegations against Bennell. He tells the Sunday Mirror: “Looking back I feel angry. It is sickening how he behaved.”