MX23RW : Monday, November 19 18:34:58

Greg Clarke: 'FA will do its all to help sex abuse victims'

Greg Clarke offers his support to Andy Woodward and the other former players to have come forward alleging sexual abuse, and promises to raise the profile of the issue.

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has reiterated that the governing body will do all it possibly can to support the alleged victims of sexual abuse at English clubs.

Former Crewe Alexandra defender Andy Woodward recently broke his silence over the abuse he suffered at the hands of youth coach Barry Bennell between the ages of 11 and 15.

A number of other former players have also come forward since the revelation was made, including Steve Walters and David White - both claiming to have been abused by Bennell - and Paul Stewart, who suffered while playing under an unnamed coach.

Clarke says that the FA will look into the claims and will also attempt to raise awareness of the issue, having already written to 30,000 football clubs.

"I think the important thing is to make sure at the moment that people are safe and crimes are being investigated," he told Sky Sports News. "We will take any action necessary to support the evidence that we get. I found it very emotional [speaking to Andy]. I found it very upsetting to see a human being having gone through what he has gone through.

"He shared it with me and I told him that we had two fundamental objectives, one, to make sure that all the victims felt safe to report these terrible crimes against them, and secondly, to make sure none of this was going on anymore.

"We'll be working very closely, keeping him informed. I found him a very open, honestly and honourable gentleman, who shared a lot of pain and a lot of that soaked in."

Bennell was jailed for nine years in 1998 after pleading guilty to sexual offences.


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