An ex-England schoolboy football triallist, today wept after telling the High Court that Barry Bennell had abused him and made it clear that he was not a kind person.  

He now lives close to Glasgow and told a judge that his dreams of becoming a professional footballer were’sored’ by Bennell’s abuse.  

The man told Mr Justice Johnson that he played football even though he had suffered at the hands Bennell, but that he’d rather fight than display his skill.  

According to the man, the judge said that Bennell’s actions were the reason he became a less nice person.

I became more competitive playing football.

“I tried to hurt people, and it is embarrassing to admit that I played football again, but would prefer to get into a fight rather than demonstrate my abilities.

“I had a little secret.”

The man, who now lives near Glasgow, told a judge that his dream of being a professional footballer had 'soured' after Barry Bennell's abuse.  Pictured: Bennell in 1995

He now lives in Glasgow and told a judge his desire to be a professional soccer player had been ruined by Barry Bennell’s abuse.  Pictured in 1995: Bennell

According to him, he participated in an England schoolboy trial. He was also approached by clubs like Tottenham and Leeds.

He claimed that he played in a Derbyshire team Bennell had coached as a boy.  

Bennell, he said, was well-known for being connected to City. Boys from that team signed associate schoolboy forms. 

The evidence shows that Bennell selected ‘the most decent lads from Derbyshire’.

According to one man, sometimes boys from Scotland or Wales could ‘turn up and play’ for the team.

He remembered his friend from the team, who later went on to train in Stoke City. 

This was part of testimony that the man gave at today’s High Court trial in London.

Eight men, now in their 40s and 50s, have made damages claims against Manchester City Football Club which have been disputed by bosses. The judge has heard the eight men were sexually and emotionally abused by Bennell between 1979 and 1985 and are claiming damages after suffering psychiatric injuries. Pictured: Bennell's scout card

The claims of eight young men in their 50s and 40s against Manchester City Football Club have been rejected by their bosses. After being abused sexually by Bennell in 1979-1985, the judge heard from them and they are now suing for damages. Photographed: Bennell’s scout cards 

Judge Bennell was convicted for sexual offenses against children after he invited young footballers to his house.

In their 40s or 50s, eight men have filed damages claims against Manchester City Football Club.

According to them, Bennell, now aged 67, has abused them as schoolboys while playing in England’s north-west football leagues more than 30 year ago. They also claim that Bennell was City Scout at the time.

Judge Bennell has told the men that they abused them sexually and emotionally between 1979-1985. They are now suing for damages because of psychiatric injuries. 

Six other players are also seeking damages for possible football earnings losses. Manchester City contests the claims. 

Bosses claim that Bennell was an area scout during the 1970s, but was not active between 1979-1985.

Another man spoke at the trial yesterday, telling the judge that his father had been 'warned of' Frank Roper who was a scout formerly linked to Blackpool that was convicted of sex abuse offences and is now dead. Pictured: A later photo of Bennell, who was a football coach and scout for many years

Yesterday, another man testified at the trial. He said that Frank Roper was his father’s scout and that he had warned him. Roper was later convicted for sex abuse. Photo of Bennell (a former football coach and Scout for many years) 

At yesterday’s trial, another man said to the judge that Frank Roper had warned his father. Roper is a former Blackpool scout who was convicted in sex abuse cases and is currently dead. 

The judge asked him if he felt that Bennell was trustworthy after the warning.

He was an accomplished schoolboy football player and now he is in his 50s.   

In a written statement, Johnson told Justice Johnson that Bennell had warned Roper to stop molestation of boys.

He stated that he could have confidence in Bennell (because he knew what Roper was).

According to the witness, Bennell displayed a magnetic personality and was favored by everyone.

Bennell said he was “attached” to City, and that he considered himself to have been playing for City.

Bennell is due to give evidence, by video link from prison, later in the trial. Pictured: Bennell while he was a football coach

Bennell, via video link, will be giving evidence later on in the trial. Picture: Bennell when he was a coach of football

He said that the name of his youth team was “kind of irrelevant”. 

He stated to the judge that he felt he had an ‘opportunity’ to play for Manchester City and added, ‘I was playing in Manchester City.

“I was approached by a top-league professional team. Bennell was the right person to help me become a professional soccer player.

Bennell has a Manchester City club that you have. 

According to Mr Justice Johnson, Bennell is currently serving 34 years in prison after being convicted on sexual offenses against boys in five different circumstances. Four of these were in the UK, one was in the US. He is being held at HMP Littlehey in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. 

Bennell, via video link, will be giving evidence later during the trial.

He was abused for decades before being finally charged. 

The 1970’s early:Bennell stated that Bennell began his coaching career when he turned 18 and was a coach at Senrab FC in London.

The 1970s, mid- to late:Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Pwllheli is home to Butlin’s coaches. Also, Whitehill FC Manchester Youth team, where he tells detectives.

From November 1979 through July 1981As a social worker in the Taxal Edge Children’s Home, Whaley Bridge (Dereshire), I was employed as a resident.

From 1982 to 1995:Derbyshire youth team coaches, which helped recruit many youth for Manchester City.

From 1985 to 1992Bennell, apart from his spell coaching duties in Georgia (USA) in 1989 and 1990, is employed or for Crewe Alexandra.

1990Linda Woodward marries Andy Woodward’s sister, Linda. They have two more children.

1992 to 1994 Stoke City is represented by Bennell.

1994He was on a 10-week trip to the United States as a coach for a Staffordshire youth soccer team.

1995Four counts of indecent attack on a boy were brought against him in Florida. He was sentenced to four year imprisonment. He was held in prison for a time before his conviction. Bennell also assaulted his victim in Britain. This leads to an investigation at home.

January 1997Channel 4’s documentary series Dispatches features Bennell. Ian Ackley, a former youth soccer player, gives up his anonymity to tell Soccer’s Foul Play that Bennell had sexually assaulted him.

September 1997After completing Bennell’s sentence in America, Bennell is deported to the UK and charged with sexual offences related to several complainants.

June 1998Chester Crown Court: On the first day for his scheduled trial, he pleaded guilty to 23 charges of sexual abuse against 15 victims between 1978-1992. The victims include Mr Ackley, Mr Woodward. There are currently 22 alleged offenses. He was sentenced to nine year imprisonment

Mai 2015Bennell pleads guilty in the same court to the sexual abuse of a 12 year-old boy, 1980. Two years are served in jail for Bennell. Because of what he claimed it would have on the mother, his victim didn’t come forward in 1997. He contacted police after his mother died in 2013. According to the court, he suffered abuse at Bennell’s Taxal Edge home while he was staying at his Macclesfield coaching session.

November 2016Woodward gives a powerful, emotional interview for the Guardian and BBC Victoria Derbyshire. The incident leads to several complainants against Bennell calling police, and the new investigation starts.

January 2018,Liverpool Crown Court brings Bennell on trial. He is accused of historical child sex crimes against 11 people between 1979-1990.

February 2018.Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced Bennell to 30 years in prison for 52 child sexual offences committed against 12 boys.

July 2020Bennell also admits to nine additional sex offenses – three counts for buggery, six counts for indecent assault and six counts in connection with two other complainants who were between 11-14 years old at the time.

October 2020:Chester Crown Court sentences Bennell for nine sexual offences committed against two boys to four year imprisonment.