Timeline: How football sex abuse allegations unfolded

The growing scandal surrounding allegations of historical child sex abuse has shocked the world of football.

Here is a timeline showing the key events and revelations so far:

Andy Woodward's revelations have helped others come forward. Credit: PA
  • November 16 - Former Sheffield United player Andy Woodward becomes the first to speak out about his experience of abuse. He tells The Guardian he was abused while he was a youth player at Crewe Alexandra.

  • November 22 - Ex-Crewe player Steve Walters alleges that he was also abused in an interview with The Guardian. He claims he was groomed and repeatedly abused after joining Crewe's youth team when he was 12.

  • November 23 - Former England international Paul Stewart claims he was abused by Frank Roper, a football coach, when he was a child. He tells the Daily Mirror he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Roper, and claims that he threatened to kill his family if he told them.

  • Former England and Manchester City forward David White becomes the fourth retired footballer in a week to say he was abused at the start of his career.

Paul Stewart speaking about the abuse he suffered on This Morning. Credit: ITV
  • November 24 - The Guardian reports that an unnamed former Newcastle United player has contacted police with allegations against coach George Ormond. Ormond was jailed for six years in 2002 for carrying out numerous assaults spanning 24 years.

  • The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) launched a dedicated hotline for sexual abuse victims within the football community. It received 50 calls within the first two hours.

  • November 26 - A former Crewe Alexandra board member says the club was told one of its junior footballers had been sexually abused. Hamilton Smith, who was on the board between 1986 and 1990, tells The Guardian he called for a meeting after being told of the allegation.

  • Crewe announces it will conduct an independent review into the way the club dealt with historical child abuse allegations.

David White became the fourth retired footballer in a week to say he was abused at the start of his career. Credit: PA
  • November 27 - The Football Association says it has appointed Kate Gallafent QC to assist with its internal review into historical child sex abuse allegations. The FA added that more than 20 players have approached it over child sex abuse claims.

  • November 29 - Former football coach Barry Bennell is charged with eight counts of sexual assault against a teenage boy.

  • Cambridgeshire Police announce they are investigating "multiple allegations" of sex abuse relating to Cambridge United and Peterborough United.

  • Police Scotland and Staffordshire Police also announce they are looking at multiple, historical allegations of abuse in youth football.

  • Former Northern Ireland International Mark Williams reveals he was also a victim of abuse as a youngster.

  • Former England international Paul Stewart makes a statement to Greater Manchester Police alleging that a coach abused him.

  • Fifa's Secretary General Fatma Samoura offers support to victims and tells ITV News she thinks abuse in football could be worldwide.

David Eatock tells ITV News he was sexually assulted by youth coach George Ormond. Credit: ITV
  • November 30 - North Wales Police and North Yorkshire Police confirm investigations into alleged historical child abuse in youth football. Both say they are working with the national centre, Operation Hydrant, in relation to abuse allegations in their region.

  • December 1 - Former footballer David Eatock tells ITV News he was left physically unable to speak by a "horrific"sexual assault carried out by disgraced youth coach George Ormond.

  • On the same day, Greater Manchester Police say it was investigating allegations from 35 people, as it identified 10 youth football abuse suspects.

  • The NSPCC reveals the number of calls made to a dedicated football abuse hotline are almost treble the amount made in the first three days of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

  • December 2 - Ex-Chelsea player Gary Johnson claims the club paid him £50,000 to keep his sex ordeal at the hands of chief scout Eddie Heath quiet in an interview with the Daily Mirror. Heath is now dead.

  • West Midlands Police said it is "investigating four historical allegations of child sexual abuse in football".

  • Kent Police also confirmed it had received reports of historical abuse within the county's football community.

  • Southampton Football Club confirms it has contacted police over claims of historical child abuse.

  • December 3 - Chelsea 'apologise profusely' to Gary Johnson, who was sexually abused by former youth team coach Eddie Heath in the 1970s. The club say they have "no desire to hide any historic abuse we uncover from view" and are "fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children and young people who are in our care or attending our premises". Chelsea added it had been "inappropriate" to sign a confidentiality agreement with Johnson to keep the matter private.

Gary Johnson Credit: MGN Ltd
  • December 5 - The Offside Trust - an independent body which will "fight for justice" and support abuse victims - is launched.

  • Edward Smethurst, a lawyer representing victims, claims there are still individuals in the game who "need further investigation" and that gagging orders have been used by "a number of clubs".

  • December 6 - The FA announces its independent review will be lead by Clive Sheldon QC instead of Kate Gallafent QC "in the light of the increased scope of the review".

The Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into sex abuse claims involving clubs in London. Credit: PA
  • December 8 - The Metropolitan Police launch an investigation into sex abuse claims involving clubs in London, with a team of specialist officers from its sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command looking into non-recent allegations of wrongdoing.

  • December 9 - The National Police Chiefs' Council reveal 83 potential suspects and 98 clubs have been identified in connection with allegations.

  • December 11 - Crewe director of football, Dario Gradi, is suspended by the FA pending an investigation. The 75-year-old denies any wrongdoing and says he will help the FA's review.