An ex-footballer who launched a trust to help abuse victims has criticised clubs and professional players for what he said was an "appalling" lack of support.

Chris Unsworth, a former Manchester City youth player who was among the first to speak out about the sexual abuse he suffered as a boy, started the Offside Trust with two fellow ex-players and victims, Andy Woodward and Steve Walters of Crewe Alexandra.

The aim of the trust is to offer help, including financially, to former victims and their families as they seek justice.

But the reaction to their plea for support from active players has been poor, Mr Unsworth said.

We’re just shocked, shocked really to see the lack of support by the football clubs and by the players, he told Sky News.

Ten thousand footballers out there are playing their game – we’ve had four current footballers that have helped and supported the Offside Trust, which I think is appalling.

Mr Unsworth did not identify the four players.

:: Football child sex abuse scandal: 14 forces now involved

Some high-profile stars have publicly encouraged victims to come forward – and 800 men have done so.

Historical abuse allegations surrounding British football have led to criminal investigations by police.

The scandal started when Mr Woodward said in an interview with The Guardian that he had been abused as a boy in the 1980s.

The FA has described the scandal as its biggest crisis and has launched an independent review into the claims.

FA chairman Greg Clarke has admitted he cannot be sure whether historical abuse in football had been covered up.

Mr Unsworth has spoken of the suffering he endured as a boy.

We were only kids, eight-years-old, eight to 13-years-old, he recalled. You should be enjoying those days.

It should be the best days of your life.


(c) Sky News 2017: Football sex abuse: Players attacked for failing abuse victims



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