Former Newcastle United youth player Derek Bell goes public over teenage sex abuse

Former Newcastle United footballer Derek Bell has gone public to talk about his experience of sexual abuse as a teenager.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 11:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:24 pm
Andy Woodward sparked the whole sexual abuse in football scandal when he broke his silence about his experiences as a young player.

He is one of more than 20 former players who have now spoken out about alleged historic abuse.

The scandal broke two weeks ago when former Crewe defender Andy Woodward alleged he had been the victim of child sexual abuse by a coach at the club in the 1980s.

Mr Bell, who was on the fringes of the Magpies' first team in the early 1980s, before his professional career was ended by injury, waived his anonymity to BBC 5 Live.

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He said he was sexually assaulted when he played for a local boys' club in the 1970s, and, after seeing his abuser again more than 20 years later, decided to try to kill him.

"I went to his house with a 12in knife hidden in my pocket, and I kicked his door in," Mr Bell told Emma Barnett on the show. "Luckily for him, that evening, he wasn't in.

"I told my friends at that point because I'd kept it a secret for a lot of years.

"I went and told my close friends, who've been absolutely incredibly supportive, and told them what had happened to me, and they said 'Right, let's do something about it', but I said 'No, I'll do something about it'."

Changing his mind about his course of action, he said he headed back to the man's house a couple of days later with a recording device in his pocket to ask him why and what his motivation was.

Mr Bell said: "And not one time did he say he was sorry."

His abuser was eventually jailed after Mr Bell, now 52, took the tape to the police.

Meanwhile, Dorset Police has become the latest force to probe allegations of historical child sex abuse in football - taking the tally to nine.

Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cheshire, Northumbria, Scotland Yard and Police Scotland are all also investigating allegations of abuse.

So far police have received 250 reports and more than 50 calls were made to an NSPCC hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in football in the initial hours of opening.

The national child abuse inquiry headed by Professor Alexis Jay is considering whether to investigate abuse in football as part of its overarching probe.

And ministers are writing to all national sporting bodies to ask them to ''redouble their efforts'' to protect children in the wake of the scandal.

FA chairman Greg Clarke has admitted he does not know if the abuse in football was covered up by the authorities, as he scrambles to respond to ''the biggest crisis'' he has ever seen the game face.

The FA has commissioned a dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry which can be contacted at all hours on 0800 023 2642.