A suspected football abuser is 'still working in the sport'

Updated: 

A former employee of Southampton Football Club accused of abusing young players in the 1980s is still working in the sport, according to reports.

BBC Radio 4´s Today programme said it understood the former staff member left Southampton after concerns were raised regarding his behaviour towards members of the club's youth team.

The employee's alleged inappropriate conduct at Southampton included making the young players line up naked in a changing room for inspection, according to testimony from an unnamed former player now in his 40s.

The programme said he was the fourth former player at the club who had come forward with allegations of abuse against the same man.

Southampton stadium
(John Walton/PA)

It claimed the staff member went on to work for other clubs and, despite being asked to leave one of them, is still working in the game.

Southampton has previously indicated it would work with Hampshire Police after becoming the latest team to receive information in relation to historical child abuse as a major probe into the issue in youth football continues up and down the country. The club has been contacted for comment.

It comes as former Southampton player and England captain, Alan Shearer, urged footballers to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse.

Alan Shearer
(Sam Beattie/PA)

Shearer said he was "shocked and deeply saddened" by recent revelations and appealed for victims to contact the NSPCC's football helpline, which has received 860 calls in a week.

Current captain Wayne Rooney has also joined with figures, including women's captain Steph Houghton, in a video on "safeguarding" published for the FA and NSPCC.

Rooney previously said no-one should "suffer in silence" and praised Andy Woodward, 43, who first came forward to say he was abused as a young player.

Wayne Rooney
(Mike Egerton/PA)

West Midlands Police also said it was "investigating four historical allegations of child sexual abuse in football" and Kent Police said it had received reports of abuse within the county's football community.

So far 10 suspects have been identified as the scandal continues to grow, and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it was investigating reports from 35 people, with its inquiry growing on a "daily basis".

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) said it had seen a 10-fold increase in the number of adult survivors of child abuse registering for their support groups - from 10 registrations a week to 100 in the past three weeks. The National Police Chiefs' Council said around 350 people across the country had reported abuse allegations.