Given the serious information that continues to come to light regarding child abuse in football, The FA has commissioned a dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry.
The launch of the free, independent helpline follows former footballers Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart bravely speaking out about the abuse they suffered as young footballers.
Staffed by independent, experienced NSPCC professionals, the helpline will offer support and guidance for adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse within the game at all levels from grassroots to Premier League and is a safe space for any further whistleblowing.
The helpline will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.
Trained staff will offer support, advice and guidance, and will refer cases on to the police or other agencies as appropriate, such as if a child is in immediate danger.
Sue Ravenlaw, Head of Equality and Safeguarding from the FA said:
“The courage and dignity being shown by Andy Woodward, Steve Walters, Paul Stewart and David White is immense. We join Andy, the police and others in the continued efforts to encourage more victims and survivors to come forward. Anyone who has experienced or is experiencing abuse in football or who has concerns about children’s welfare should contact the Police or The FA directly, or utilise this specific NSPCC helpline to gain support and advice.”
Referrals of concerns about recent and non-recent abuse should continue to be made directly via the designated persons’ network in football, or directly to The FA’s safeguarding team via firstname.lastname@example.org and a safeguarding professional from the team will make contact .