1. National

FA chairman: Football asleep to issue of child sex abuse in 1990s

FA chairman Greg Clarke said football - and society as a whole - had a "total unawareness" of safeguarding children in the 1990s.

Speaking as police forces around the country investigate historical allegations from more than 20 former players said the sport and other institutions were "sleepwalking" rather than dealing with the problem.

Eight police forces are now looking into allegations of historical abuse in football.

There have been 250 reports made to police and more than 50 calls were made to an NSPCC hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in football in the initial hours of opening.

View all 38 updates ›

NSPCC receive over 50 calls after launching hotline

Andy Woodward's revelations have helped others come forward. Credit: PA

The NSPCC has received more than 50 calls in the two hours after launching a dedicated hotline for sexual abuse victims.

Their new hotline comes after former footballers David White, Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart came forward to claim they were allegedly abused by a former coach.

The Professional Footballers' Association said the number of players to have contacted them with similar stories has reached double figures.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: "There must be no hiding place for sexual abuse in our national game and there may be many others who suffered through such horrors as young players but have never come forward."

The children's charity said boys are more than five times less likely to speak up about abuse than girls.

"As this week's revelations have laid bare, people must be able to speak out and get the help they need, and we know that can often be more difficult for men and boys."

  • The hotline will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.

More on this story