Abused ex-Sheffield United player attends game at Bramall Lane

Andy Woodward
Andy Woodward
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A former Sheffield United player who was sexually abused as he chased his dream of becoming a professional footballer attended last night's game at Bramall Lane.

Andy Woodward, aged 43, was sexually abused by coach Barry Bennell when he was at Crewe Alexandra between the ages of 11 and 15.

He waived his right to anonymity last week to reveal the years of torment he endured while he was being abused and how it had affected him as an adult.

The ex-Blades defender said he believed more victims would come forward and since he went public about his abuse at least six people have contacted the police, including Steve Walters, who became the youngest player in the history of Crewe Alexandra, at the age of 16 years and 119 days.

A Sheffield United spokesman said the club helped arrange Woodward's visit to Bramall Lane for last night's game against Bury because he used to play for both teams.

Ex-Crewe coach Bennell was jailed for nine years in 1998 after pleading guilty to sexual offences against six boys aged between nine and 15 years old.

Now out on licence and using the name Richard Jones, the 62-year-old was also sentenced to two years in prison in May 2015 for a historical case involving a 12-year-boy on a football course in Macclesfield.

His crimes were first detected in 1994 when was he given a four-year sentence in Florida after admitting assaulting a boy on a football tour.

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