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Footballs darkest secret


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Watched the first part last night, truly sickening behaviour and abhorrent abuse not least of trust for all who bravely shared there story. Paul Stewart being abused everyday for 4 years really stood out and remembering him moving to Liverpool i often wondered where it went wrong but did not realise he was on the Charlie every day by then. It reminds you, that you never know what is going on in someone's life. 

Part 2 tonight at 9pm on BBC 1 and the focus switches to Bob Higgins and Southampton.

Full respect to anyone who tells there story in football or not. 

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I don’t think it’s on until late tonight, 10.45 I think. However, all three episodes are available to watch on iplayer.

Programme 2 (tonight) is largely taken up by Saints and Higgins, and it culminates in programme 3 with the second trial.

Pretty harrowing, but it’s a must see I think. Huge respect to the bravery of all the lads in there.

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No offence to anyone but who the hell in their right fucking mind wants to watch stories of noncery. 

Bad what happened but I wouldn't watch a program about it.

It's like my girlfriend, she's has this fucking weird interest in serial killers, she watches all the documentaries on that. I don't get it. Fucking nutters.

Edited by JustinSFC
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It is a tough watch but everyone needs to know how this can happen so it can be prevented in the future . The techniques used by these people are classic and are repeated time and again . I would like to see the youngsters educated about this and an independant outlet for them to report to . The abusers would no doubt try to counter this but it would be a start.

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2 hours ago, JustinSFC said:

No offence to anyone but who the hell in their right fucking mind wants to watch stories of noncery. 

Bad what happened but I wouldn't watch a program about it.

It's like my girlfriend, she's has this fucking weird interest in serial killers, she watches all the documentaries on that. I don't get it. Fucking nutters.

It's no different from watching a WW2 documentary. People want to learn from history and understand how terrible things could have been allowed to happen.

Stories like this need to be aired, to try and prevent them from happening again.

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2 hours ago, JustinSFC said:

No offence to anyone but who the hell in their right fucking mind wants to watch stories of noncery. 

Bad what happened but I wouldn't watch a program about it.

It's like my girlfriend, she's has this fucking weird interest in serial killers, she watches all the documentaries on that. I don't get it. Fucking nutters.

That's quite an interesting post. I have quite an interest in a number of documentaries and I have seen some on serial killers. I did however read a book from John Douglas about the BTK killer and it went into such a level of detail that it turned my stomach and I still think about it now. I understand that his job involved looking at this stuff in that sort of level but I just thought it was unnecessary to convey the points he was making. 

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I know a few of those lads.  What was allowed to happen was an absolute disgrace.  The only person at the club who did anything about it was Dave Merrington. You could be forgiven for thinking a blind eye was turned as long as the conveyor belt of first team players kept coming through.

Shame on the club and shame on 1 or 2 others for staying quiet on the subject.

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1 hour ago, Wade Garrett said:

I know a few of those lads.  What was allowed to happen was an absolute disgrace.  The only person at the club who did anything about it was Dave Merrington. You could be forgiven for thinking a blind eye was turned as long as the conveyor belt of first team players kept coming through.

Shame on the club and shame on 1 or 2 others for staying quiet on the subject.

Spill the beans. Should be no hiding place for these people.

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1 hour ago, Wade Garrett said:

I know a few of those lads.  What was allowed to happen was an absolute disgrace.  The only person at the club who did anything about it was Dave Merrington. You could be forgiven for thinking a blind eye was turned as long as the conveyor belt of first team players kept coming through.

Shame on the club and shame on 1 or 2 others for staying quiet on the subject.

Like who? There is no room in society let alone football for those that condone the type of acts suffered by those children. 

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5 hours ago, JustinSFC said:

No offence to anyone but who the hell in their right fucking mind wants to watch stories of noncery. 

Bad what happened but I wouldn't watch a program about it.

It's like my girlfriend, she's has this fucking weird interest in serial killers, she watches all the documentaries on that. I don't get it. Fucking nutters.

If you go missing then.............................🙄

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Just watched it. There for the grace of God go all our kids.  Watched part 2 and can’t believe what went on and all the missed chances.

Thats what happens when you hold people up as Gods. The devils hide amongst them. Absolutely nuts that this went on at our club. Im gutted.

 

 

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Having just watched it all the way through. I agree, there for the grace of god go I and my son. 

If anyone has any connection to the men involved by association to Southampton FC please convey my most sincere admiration to them.

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15 hours ago, Wade Garrett said:

I know a few of those lads.  What was allowed to happen was an absolute disgrace.  The only person at the club who did anything about it was Dave Merrington. You could be forgiven for thinking a blind eye was turned as long as the conveyor belt of first team players kept coming through.

Shame on the club and shame on 1 or 2 others for staying quiet on the subject.

... 

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Huge respect to those who spoke up to put people like Bob Higgins away. It amazes me though how they managed to get away with it for years and years. I used to attend Bob Higgins soccer academy and it disgusts me that Higgins was active during those periods. 

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Just seen it. Sickening. Higgins used to come to my school a lot as we were only down the road, he came with Danny Wallace a few times, you can see how he could suck people in as he’d tell us all, kids of 10,11, 12 what we had to do to be pro footballers. A few of my school mates went to his soccer schools and he’d come to our school matches sometimes, of course you wants to impress. There were always rumors about him but it was always considered a bit of joke, Horrific in hindsight seeing now what the lads went through.

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A brilliant documentary that has left me feeling sick. The bravery of the victims that have come forward. I am appalled that the FA and professional clubs allowed this to happen. It disgusts me. The number of children’s lives destroyed by these monsters. I will never forget or cover over such failings. We must never forget or allow this to ever happen again.

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21 hours ago, JustinSFC said:

No offence to anyone but who the hell in their right fucking mind wants to watch stories of noncery. 

Bad what happened but I wouldn't watch a program about it.

It's like my girlfriend, she's has this fucking weird interest in serial killers, she watches all the documentaries on that. I don't get it. Fucking nutters.

It is not there as entertainment. It is there to inform and remove ignorance. These people have been scarred for life after what happened to them. It must never happen again and if these programmes have helped raise public awareness and ensure that children are safer in the future, job done. We can’t just sweep this stuff under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist. This is precisely why the perpetrators got away with abusing for years.

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I wonder how much the clubs did actually know. Surely no one would be aware that young boys were being raped and molested in the homes of people of authority and not do anything about it.

The late 80s and early 90s were a very different time. As i mentioned before, Higgins lived near me and we used to see him a fair bit there were loads of rumours about him but it was a bit of a joke, you're queer if you go to Higgins soccer camps etc that sort of thing. At school i'm sure pretty much every school had a rumoured gay PE teacher who wanted to get the boys into the showers afterwards so he could look at them. Of course it wasn't true, but that didn't stop the stories going round the school and if other teachers didn't hear them then they walked round with plugs in their ears. I did my work experience at a company in Shirley in the early 90s. All the blokes and women there told me that one particular person was gay and liked young boys so dont get left alone with him, again it was a joke. I'm sure all the youngsters on here will think it was sick but that's how it was in those days. If you investigated every story of people in authority being rumoured to be child abusers based on stories from teenage boys then thousands would be. I wonder if the reality of the clubs awareness is more along those lines, dismissed, like many were, as silly stories that spread round the groups like the gay PE Teacher who looks at the boys willies in the shower.

What happened to those lads is horrific and of course should not be allowed but i really struggle to believe that anyone would ignore it if they knew the truth of what was going on. If they did then they should be in front of the courts as well. In the case of Higgins as soon as it got out he left the club and later stood trial, i understand there are some high profile players who didn't come out to support the lads at Saints which is pretty shameful. I'm not for one second making light of this as it truly is horrific but being around the same age group as some of these lads, also a young wannabe footballer who came into contact with Higgins, lived near him, knew plenty of lads that went to his soccer schools, played in the Sotonia cup etc and remember what the climate was like in that time, whist it's easy to say the clubs should have done more, i struggle to believe anyway actually knew the reality of what was going on until much, much later. 

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It was disgraceful and seeing those lads who are basically broken was not good to see.( ive only watched the first part) Amazing that none told their parents, but they were ruled by fear.

I do hope they get their just rewards. 

Need to phone big mouth Savage on his phone him and ask what he knew as he was at Crewe

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19 hours ago, Antrimsaint said:

Just watched it. There for the grace of God go all our kids.  Watched part 2 and can’t believe what went on and all the missed chances.

Thats what happens when you hold people up as Gods. The devils hide amongst them. Absolutely nuts that this went on at our club. Im gutted.

 

 

Very emotional to watch,just to think as kids hungry to make the next step in the game you'd have done anything not to let the dream die,all for a leather football and enjoyment doing what you love. The emotional scars that are left behind are there for the rest of their lives,some were fortunate to stop and be brave enough to walk away but a lot of these boys weren't able to and it has taken a lot of bottle to come forward and speak up about it.

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A mate of mine was an apprentice in the early to mid 80’s. 
It was definitely going on but with wasn’t like it affected every kid, him for example. 
Higgins preyed on the more vulnerable ones who wouldn’t say anything, any stronger characters he didn’t touch. 
He also stayed clear of the players that were going to make it as again, it was easier to lure those who weren’t going to make it with false promises. 
 but he is sceptical of some of the men on the program, he cited a couple saying they were barely there and probably not touched at all but can see a cash payout at some point in the future. 
Of course that takes nothing away from the those that were genuinely affected. 

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Tough watch, but essential viewing.  The abuse that Higgins, Bennell and others inflicted stays with these guys for life, but these people never think of the effect that their actions have on the victims.  Child safeguarding is much better than it was 30+ years ago, but this stuff still happens and we all need to keep our eyes open.  Sadly it hasnt gone away.

(JustinSFC - Watch the first 10 mins of either of the first two programmes and then come back and tell us if you still think the same)

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4 hours ago, Noodles34 said:

A mate of mine was an apprentice in the early to mid 80’s. 
It was definitely going on but with wasn’t like it affected every kid, him for example. 
Higgins preyed on the more vulnerable ones who wouldn’t say anything, any stronger characters he didn’t touch. 
He also stayed clear of the players that were going to make it as again, it was easier to lure those who weren’t going to make it with false promises. 
 but he is sceptical of some of the men on the program, he cited a couple saying they were barely there and probably not touched at all but can see a cash payout at some point in the future. 
Of course that takes nothing away from the those that were genuinely affected. 

They must be good actors if they’re just doing it for a payout (from where by the way?).

Your mate sounds like a c**t.

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Respect to all of the victims, that was a tough watch.

I knew one or two of those guys and it's sad to see that those kids who just loved football and wanted to become professionals had their whole lives broken by a monster.

They are blameless and he's where he should have been put decades ago.

As for that jury that didn't convict, what the fuck were they thinking when that avalanche of evidence was put before them?

They looked at Higgins and decided all his victims were liars - beyond belief.

All the best to the guys who were brave enough to speak out, I hope they have found some solace in the fact that they halted his abuse and stopped other kids suffering.

 

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9 hours ago, rallyboy said:

Respect to all of the victims, that was a tough watch.

I knew one or two of those guys and it's sad to see that those kids who just loved football and wanted to become professionals had their whole lives broken by a monster.

They are blameless and he's where he should have been put decades ago.

As for that jury that didn't convict, what the fuck were they thinking when that avalanche of evidence was put before them?

They looked at Higgins and decided all his victims were liars - beyond belief.

All the best to the guys who were brave enough to speak out, I hope they have found some solace in the fact that they halted his abuse and stopped other kids suffering.

 

Chillingly similar to the young white girls who were abused by Asian grooming gangs and not believed by police or social workers for many years. Their inaction, like the jury in the football trial, handed their abusers a free ticket to keep on doing it. 

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I saw the first programme and it was full of such incredible strength from those that suffered. I hope they are now receiving all the support they need. Tragically their pain can never completely go away. I've worked with survivors and seen just how broken it can leave someone. I hope some help is of use to them. 

I didn't see the second episode when it was on and it isn't available on i player (the other two episodes are) and I wondered why. Anyone any idea?

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16 minutes ago, saintstowin said:

I saw the first programme and it was full of such incredible strength from those that suffered. I hope they are now receiving all the support they need. Tragically their pain can never completely go away. I've worked with survivors and seen just how broken it can leave someone. I hope some help is of use to them. 

I didn't see the second episode when it was on and it isn't available on i player (the other two episodes are) and I wondered why. Anyone any idea?

I watched second one on iPlayer ?? Went to day , channel and found it there ? 
 

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2 minutes ago, johnnyboy said:

I watched second one on iPlayer ?? Went to day , channel and found it there ? 
 

Weirdly , just checked on my iPad and episode 2 wasn’t on iplayer , but I watched on sky q version of iPlayer , not sure if that’s significant !

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Thanks. I thought it might have been taken off for some reason after it aired. I'll keep checking. 

20 minutes ago, johnnyboy said:

Weirdly , just checked on my iPad and episode 2 wasn’t on iplayer , but I watched on sky q version of iPlayer , not sure if that’s significant !

 

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