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Crewe's Dario Gradi expresses sympathy to victims of Barry Bennell

Former Crewe manager Dario Gradi has offered his sympathy to victims of Barry Bennell, after a number of ex-footballers spoke out against sexual abuse.

Former Crewe players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters have both waived their right to anonymity to speak of abuse they suffered at the hands of Barry Bennell while playing for the club.

Today, Gradi, who's now Director of Football at the club, released this statement:

I would like to express sympathy to the victims of Barry Bennell not only at Crewe Alexandra, but at other clubs in the North West.

The first I knew of Barry Bennell’s crimes was when he was arrested in the United States in 1994. I knew nothing of his crimes before this time when he was employed by us. No-one at the Football Club knew of Bennell’s crimes until his arrest in 1994 and his subsequent prosecution in the United Kingdom.

The Football Club also co-operated fully with the authorities in 2003.

The Club are in the process of a review and I won’t be making any further comment until this is finalised.

– Dario Gradi, Director of Football, Crewe Alexandra
Dario Gradi Credit: PA