By 90Min
January 17, 2018

The jury in the trial of Barry Bennell was told that Gary Speed was one of four players who killed himself later in life after being coached in junior teams by the man accused of multiple sex offences against young footballers.

The Guardian have reported that one of Bennell's victims said in court that other boys from the same teams had been left "destitute, suicidal and addicted to drugs or alcohol".

Former Wales manager Speed hanged himself in November 2011, aged 42.

The victim, who Bennell has admitted abusing in 1998, told the court of his own ordeal and revealed that he had attempted to get in touch with Speed's parents after learning that they had not found an explanation for his death.

“Four people from teams I have played with, with Bennell, have taken their own lives,” he said. 

“Whether they have taken their lives due to Barry solely I don’t know but all I know is how it’s had an impact on me and how it could impact on other people. 

"When people are breaking down on the phone, when people are on the verge of suicide, when you hear of people who have taken their own lives.”

Bennell has so far pleaded guilty to seven charges involving three boys but denied 48 counts of sexual offences against 11 alleged victims, from 1979 to 1991.

The latest man to give evidence claimed that Bennell had “hundreds of boys” passing through his home.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

The victim was “pretty much living with him”, and was abused on the first occasion he stayed overnight with him.

Another victim has also claimed that he believed two members of Manchester City staff, including the chief scout Ken Barnes, were aware of the abuse but did nothing about it.

Mike Grimsley, formerly one of the youth-team coaches at Manchester City, was named as the other staff member alleged to have ignored the abuse.

The victim, described by his witness as being “one of Barry’s favourites”, told the jury he wanted an apology from Manchester City.

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