DAVID JONES, the manager of Southampton Football Club, was charged yesterday with nine offences against children.
The allegations against the former Everton player date back to the 1980s when he was employed as a care worker at a children's home in north Merseyside.
Mr Jones, 43, who is married with four children, was first contacted by detectives while on holiday with his family in Florida earlier this year. He voluntarily attended Wavertree Road police station, Liverpool, in June, at which stage he was arrested, questioned and released on bail. He was formally charged yesterday when he returned to answer bail, and will appear before Liverpool magistrates on 2 November.
A Merseyside Police spokeswoman later said that the nine charges related to sex offences and ill treatment of children. He was charged by detectives involved in Operation Care - a long-running investigation into allegations of child abuse dating back to the 1960s.
Mr Jones was in the police station for four and a half hours and left without making any comment. In a statement issued through the London solicitors Kingsley Napley, he said: "I deny all the allegations. I will be concentrating on my work for Southampton FC confident that my innocence will be established in due course."
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