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Barry Bennell pleads not guilty to child sex charges

Bennell is charged with eight child abuse offenses Credit: ITV Granada

Former football coach Barry Bennell has denied eight child abuse offences.

Bennell, 63, wearing a blue polo neck shirt and appearing via videolink at Chester Crown Court from HMP Woodhill, answered "not guilty" to all the charges as they were put to him.

The former Crewe Alexandra coach denies seven counts of indecent assault on a boy and one count of attempted buggery.

All the offences are alleged to have happened between 1981 and 1986, when the victim was under the age of 16.

Around 30 members of the media sat in the press benches for the brief hearing.

Most of the hearing was taken up with administrative matters until Bennell was remanded into custody until March 20 for a further hearing to take place.

Owen Edwards, prosecuting, told the court: "I have had an opportunity to speak to the complainant; at the moment he preserves his anonymity."

Judge Roger Dutton reminded the press and members of the public in court that any identification of the alleged complainant "will be treated very seriously" by the courts.

Bennell worked as a coach for Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City, Stoke and junior teams in north-west England and the Midlands during his career in football.

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Tranmere's caretaker manager John McMahon says it's a 'massive' game for his team as they battle for survival in League One.

Rovers face Bradford while a win for Crewe against Preston will guarantee their safety.

In the Championship Blackpool should be safe but a point from their game with Charlton will make certain they don't go down.

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