Barry Bennell “stole or borrowed Manchester City kit for youth teams”


Former pedophile football coach Barry Bennell said in a High Court trial that he stole or borrowed Manchester City gear for his youth teams to wear in the 1980s.

ennell, who is in jail after being convicted of child sex offenses, denied being linked with Manchester City in the 1980s after eight men who say they abused them filed for damages against the club .

The 67-year-old told a judge the reason teams he coach sometimes wore City’s light blue stripe was because he took it from the club’s training ground after games ‘trial.

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Convicted pedophile Barry Bennell told court he was not employed by Manchester City at the time of the offenses (PA)

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Convicted pedophile Barry Bennell told court he was not employed by Manchester City at the time of the offenses (PA)

The eight men, who are now between 40 and 50, say Bennell abused them while playing school football for teams he coached in North West England between 1979 and 1985.

They claim that Bennell, who became a coach at Crewe in 1985, was a scout for City at that time, and contend that the relationship between Bennell and City was “an employment relationship or a relationship akin to employment.”

City bosses deny this claim.

They say Bennell had been a local city scout in the mid-1970s, but not between 1979 and 1985.

Judge Johnson began overseeing a trial in the High Court in London at the end of October.

Bennell said at trial he was not a city scout at the time the men claimed to be mistreated.

He told the judge he was a “local scout” for City between 1975 and 1979 – but not between 1979 and 1985.

But he said the “reality” is that he “was never” a Manchester City coach and “after 1978/1979” the junior teams he coached had “no connection” to the club. .

Some of the men told the judge they wore a City kit when playing for Bennell’s school teams.

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Court artist sketch of Barry Bennell appearing before the High Court in London via video link (Elizabeth Cook / PA)


Court artist sketch of Barry Bennell appearing before the High Court in London via video link (Elizabeth Cook / PA)

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Court artist sketch of Barry Bennell appearing before the High Court in London via video link (Elizabeth Cook / PA)

Bennell, who testified by video link from the prison near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire where he is being held, said his teams also carried Burnley and Tottenham kits.

He said he stole or borrowed the City kit.

“I have to admit that on more than one occasion I even managed to steal a bag of MCFC kit at the end of a trial I attended,” he told the judge, in a statement. written statement.

“I would then use the kit for the cup finals or the end of season photos when the team won the league because it made the players feel good. “

He added, when asked on Wednesday by James Counsell QC, who heads the eight-man men’s legal team: “I borrowed it… it may have been twice.”

Mr Counsell asked about the danger of city officials seeing photos of boys wearing a city kit.

Bennell replied, “I would probably blame someone else or say I borrowed it.”

He told the judge, in written testimony, that he had been convicted, at Chester Crown Court in 1998 and 2015, and at Liverpool Crown Court in 2018, of various sexual offenses against “many boys”, and jailed.

Bennell said several of those convictions involved six of the men making claims against City.

But, when questioned by Mr Counsell earlier in the trial, he denied mistreating four of the men.

He admitted to having abused two others.

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Eight men have filed for damages against Manchester City football club (Mike Egerton / PA)


Eight men have filed for damages against Manchester City football club (Mike Egerton / PA)

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Eight men have filed for damages against Manchester City football club (Mike Egerton / PA)

Judge Johnson has learned that Bennell, who lived near Buxton in Derbyshire, abused school footballers after urging them to stay at his home.

The eight men are claiming damages for psychiatric injuries.

Six are also claiming damages for the loss of potential football income.

Judge Johnson learned that Bennell was serving a 34-year sentence after being convicted of sex offenses against boys five times – four in the UK and one in the US – and being held at HMP Littlehey .

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