Ex-footballer Andy Woodward: We went through hell

Andy Woodward said FA officials were "very supportive" during a meeting discussing the alleged sex abuse he received as a child.

The former Crewe Alexandra player said the meeting, which has been in the diary for a week, had helped confirm plans for support given to alleged victims.

Speaking after the meeting at Wembley Stadium, he told ITV News:

He said they also discussed how to prevent similar abuse from happening again in future.

Speaking before he went into the meeting, he described his experience as "hell".

He told ITV News: "Ex-players are suffering so much and suffered in silence for so many years. We went through hell.

"I spoke to a welfare officer last week and I said I need some help. I'm suffering. I was really struggling last week emotionally, I was panicking. It's a lot to cope with because it's so big."

"I knew inside that there were so many other [victims] that could potentially come out, I'm now able to speak... about what happened and a way forward."

Mr Woodward said the support he had received had been "totally overwhelming".

Holding back tears, he said: "Every single player [I send my] wholehearted thank you to them.

"We're getting messages from members of the public who aren't involved in football saying 'you give us faith', 'you give us belief', and that's what it's all about.

"In that era there were so many people who suffered".