Former Premier League footballer makes abuse claims against Bennell

The footballer said he "cannot just sit back and watch my former team-mates suffer alone"

Former Premier League and Northern Ireland player Mark Williams has released a statement claiming he was abused by Barry Bennell.

The footballer said he "cannot just sit back and watch my former team-mates suffer alone" following a series of allegations made against Bennell, a former football coach who is a convicted paedophile.

Williams alleges he suffered abuse as a teenager when he was training at Crewe Alexandra FC.

"My life has been affected irreversibly both personally and professionally and it has been soul destroying to carry this burden for 30 years," he said.

"Their courage and bravery has inspired me to speak out about my own abuse at the hands of my former coach Barry Bennell. He abused me on two occasions – once at Pegasus, the Manchester City nursery team, when I was 11 years old, and then three years later when I had moved to Crewe where he was my coach as a schoolboy.

"I was touched inappropriately in the genital area on both occasions and luckily for me it didn’t go any further than that. My life has been affected irreversibly both personally and professionally and it has been soul destroying to carry this burden for 30 years.”