Former Liverpool midfielder Paul Stewart has revealed that he was abused as a child.
The 52-year-old says a youth coach abused him from the age of 11 for 4 years with promises of making him a star.
Stewart, who played for Liverpool between 1992 and 1996, has broken his silence after more than 40 years in the hope that other victims may have the courage to come forward.
He claims that the tormentor abused him every day and threatened to kill members of his family if he spoke out.
Stewart told The Mirror newspaper: “One day, travelling in the car, he started to touch me. It frightened me to death, did not know what to do, I tried to tell my parents not to let him in but I was only 11.
“From then, it progressed to sexually abusing me, he said he would kill my mother, my father, my two brothers if I breathed a word about it. And at 11 years old, you believe that.
“He would say, ‘Does anyone want to drive the car?’ I sat with a leg on one side by the steering wheel. That is when he first touched me.”
He added: “One lad in the team, he made him and I perform sexual acts on him. Another lad who was four years older than me told me he was abused. He told me that later when we met as adults.
“The mental scars led me into other problems with drink and drugs. I know now it was a grooming process. The level of abuse got worse and worse.”
- If you have been a victim of child abuse, there are a number of national helplines that you can turn to for support –>>