Former Preston North End player told police there were 'hundreds' of sexual assaults on young boys

A former Preston North End reserve team footballer has come forward to make allegations of abuse.

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 6:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:23 pm
A former Preston North End reserve team footballer has come forward to make allegations of abuse.

David Lean told Sky News that he had given evidence that led to child abuser and football coach Barry Bennell's imprisonment in 2015,

He said he had warned the Crown Prosecution service that there could have been "hundreds" of victims.

Lean said of Bennell: "He was running junior football teams and working in a children's home.

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"There was always going to be more - many, many, many, many more and I told them.

"I had already told the police that there were hundreds, and no-one wanted to listen," Lean added.

Meantime, the country's third largest police force has launched a probe into allegations of historical child sex abuse in youth football after recent media reports prompted people to come forward.Greater Manchester Police (GMP) joined the Metropolitan Police and the FA in investigating the growing scandal, which was sparked when an ex-player spoke out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of convicted paedophile Barry Bennell.

It comes after it emerged that Bennell, a former Crewe Alexandra coach, was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital on Friday night after being found unconscious, in what Thames Valley Police called a "fear for welfare" incident.Hampshire, Cheshire and Northumbria police forces are also investigating reports received since former Crewe, Bury and Sheffield United player Andy Woodward became the first to speak out this month about abuse he suffered at the hands of Bennell.

The Football Association is facing mounting pressure to expand the scope of an inquiry into abuse.

Damian Collins MP, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, accused the FA of being slow in responding to the growing scandal.

English football's governing body appointed senior lawyer Kate Gallafent QC to assist with its review into historical child sex abuse allegations starting in the 1970s.

As many as seven professional clubs are embroiled in the growing scandal, with more than 20 former players alleging they were victims, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor has said.