'We need to learn lessons' of football sex abuse scandal, says ex-minister Richard Caborn

'We need to learn the lessons' of the football sex abuse scandal, says former Sports Minister Richard Caborn

The scandal of footballer abuse is growing daily

Friday, December 2, 2016

A former minister for sport has insisted football "needs to learn the lessons" of the football sex abuse scandal after a former player claimed he was paid £50,000 to keep his claim quiet.

Gary Johnson, a former footballer for Chelsea FC who played for the first team between 1978 and 1981, told the Daily Mirror today he was abused repeatedly by Eddie Heath, Chelsea FC’s chief scout in the 1970s.

Waiving his anonymity, Johnson told the newspaper the abuse made him feel that his “childhood had been taken away”, and how he spent his late teens in “absolute turmoil.” 

Chelsea have opened their own investigation into the scandal, and the FA has made it clear that any club which might try or have tried to “hush” abuse allegations will be punished.

Richard Caborn, who served as sports minister under Tony Blair, believed that while action has been taken in the last 15 years to increase child safety in football and the sport has become safer overall, it didn't come quickly enough.

Caborn told Julia Hartley-Brewer that "there is a real sense we will continue to ensure child protection is at the top of the agenda". 

Listen to the full interview above.