Police investigating historical sexual offences at Southend United FC

Southend's Roots Hall stadium, seen here in 2007. The alleged offences took place on Southend United's grounds in the late 1970s

Southend's Roots Hall stadium, seen here in 2007. The alleged offences took place on Southend United's grounds in the late 1970s

Friday, March 2, 2018

Police say they are investigating reports of two sexual offences that are alleged to have taken place on the grounds of Southend United Football Club in the 1970s.

A man aged in his 50s contacted Essex Police in May 2017 with reports of offences that took place when he was a teenager between 1977 and 1978. A 75-year-old man from the Wakefield area has been voluntarily interviewed in connection with the investigation.

Officers received a further report last month, January 2018, that a second man had been the victim of offences when he was a teenager. Enquiries are ongoing.

Detective Inspector Mel Jobson said: "I am keen to speak to former staff and players who were associated with Southend United Football Club in 1977 and 1978 as they may have information that could assist our investigation.

"I urge anyone who can help or wishes to report any offences to please get in touch."

Sexual abuse in football became a national issue in 2016 when a number of former youth players spoke out against Barry Bennell, who worked for Crewe Alexandra and Manchester City.

Bennell was jailed last month for 31 years after being convicted of a string of sexual offences between 1979 and 1991. There is no suggestion that the alleged offences at Southend has any connection with Bennell's activity. 

Anyone with any information regarding the Southend investigation is urged to contact the Southend Child Abuse Investigation Team on 101 quoting reference 42/66919/17.

 

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