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Manchester City will pay damages to victims of youth coach

Trauma: Victims Steve
Walters, left, Gary Cliffe,
Chris Unsworth and
Micky Fallon after Bennell
was convicted PICTURE: GETTY

SOME sexual abuse victims of youth football coach Barry Bennell will receive six-figure sums in damages and an apology from a ‘survivors scheme’ set up by his former club, Manchester City.

It is the first of its kind set up by one of the clubs implicated in the scandal involving youth players that has rocked football.

The premier league champions commissioned a QC review into how Bennell, 64, or any other individual, used the club to ‘facilitate alleged sexual abuse of children from 1964 to the present day’.

It said: ‘That review led to the uncovering of serious allegations of child sex abuse in respect of another individual, John Broome. It is to victims of those two individuals that the scheme applies.

Convicted: Barry Bennell was jailed for 31 years for abusing 12 junior players at City and Crewe PICTURE: REX

‘The club reiterates its heartfelt sympathy to all victims for the unimaginably traumatic experiences they endured.

‘All victims were entitled to expect full protection from the kind of harm they suffered as a result of their sexual abuse as children.’

The damages process will be applied to victims of Broome, after allegations were made about his time at City between 1964 and 1971. Nine people have reported Broome, who died in 2010, for serious sexual abuse. The club are said to be aware of 40 potential claimants.

Last year, Bennell, who had two spells in City’s junior network between 1976 and 1984, was convicted of 43 charges relating to 12 former junior players between 1979 and 1990 during his time at City and at Crewe Alexandra.

He was sentenced to 31 years for his fourth conviction for abusing boys.

Another 86 former youth players have come forward with allegations.

City’s ‘victim-first’ policy is at odds with the approach taken by Crewe Alexandra, who last month wrote to one of Bennell’s victims, Steve Walters, saying he waited too long to report abuse.