NSPCC launches dedicated hotline for footballer victims of sexual abuse

David White became the fourth ex-player to reveal he was abused

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The Independent Football

Children’s charity the NSPCC has launched a hotline for footballers after four ex players spoke publically about being sexually abused by their coaches as children.

Former Manchester City and England forward David White became the fourth person to waive his right to anonymity and confirm he was targeted by a coach as a child, following on from Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart.

The Professional Footballers’ Association has said the number of players who have contacted them with similar stories has now reached double figures.

As a result, the NSPCC, with the support of the Football Association, has opened up a dedicated hotline for footballers.

“There must be no hiding place for sexual abuse in our national game and there may be many others who suffered through such horrors as young players but have never come forward,” said NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless.

“As this week's revelations have laid bare, people must be able to speak out and get the help they need, and we know that can often be more difficult for men and boys.

“We welcome the FA’s commitment to helping those in the game get the help and support they need.”

In a statement released prior to Mr White's announcement on Wednesday, the FA's head of equality and safeguarding Sue Ravenlaw said: “The courage and dignity being shown by Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart is immense.

“We join Andy, the police and others in the continued efforts to encourage more victims and survivors to come forward. We urge people to utilise this specific NSPCC helpline to gain support and advice.”

The hotline will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.