Three ex-footballers launch Offside Trust to support victims of sexual abuse
Three former players who were sexually abused at the start of their careers have called on professional football to back a new, independent trust that will “fight for justice” and support victims.
The Offside Trust, which is fronted by former Crewe Alexandra players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters and ex-Manchester City youth Chris Unsworth, is asking for donations from the English Football League, Football Association, Premier League, Professional Footballers’ Association and commercial organisations that profit from the game.
Speaking at the trust’s launch in Manchester, Woodward said: “We are fighting for justice. We have all been through it and we just want justice.”
It was Woodward’s powerful interview with The Guardian last month that opened the floodgates on a scandal that has now spread throughout the UK.
In a press release for the trust, Woodward added: “The sheer size and scale of the problem is illustrated by the fact that over 860 victims have come forward in the last few days.
“It is clear that abuse has existed on a major scale for many years. This trust does not just relate to football but also relates to other sports.”
The trust will be supported by Prosperity Law, a Manchester-based firm that specialises in child abuse.