Football abuse survivor's shock at scale of revelations

David Lean
David Lean

A former footballer who was sexually abused as a child has revealed 13 friends from various walks of life have revealed their own experiences of abuse since he waived his anonymity.

David Lean made the startling revelation as he plans to run a series of half marathons to raise funds for organisations that support survivors.

The ex-PNE reserve footballer was abused by a figure in the sporting world when he was just 12 years old.

The Lancashire sportsman did not disclose his ordeal and went on to spend three seasons at Preston North End from 1983 to 1986.

In 2013 he reported the abuse and later waived his anonymity to raise awareness.

David, who now lives in Lytham, ran the Greater Manchester half marathon to raise cash for the Renaissance counselling service which supported him for two years.

The 49-year-old said: “Childhood sexual abuse is all around us yet unknown to many.

“After I disclosed 13 people who have shared some part of my life have now disclosed to me about their own abuse as children, some of which are currently going through the criminal system now.

“I decided to run the Manchester Marathon with my friend Jonas Bartle to raise both awareness and support Renaissance and also to raise the profile of football survivors coming forward and encourage others.”

David raised £2,288.26 towards counselling services.