The case against ex-football coach Barry Bennell has caused great shock and disappointment throughout the footballing world. But the problem is, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with many others coming forward to reveal what happened to them all those years ago.

Who is Barry Bennell?

Barry Bennell was a youth scout and a junior football coach most notably at Crewe Alexandra. However, the BBC reported that he has been convicted of sexual offences, dating back to more than twenty years, where he "preyed on young footballers". In court today (16th January) Bennell pleaded not guilty.

The full extent of what happened

But the ramifications and the full extent of what has actually happened goes so much further than just Barry Bennell. In a report stated on the BBC sport website, according to police, 155 potential suspects have now been identified with 148 clubs being "impacted" upon. On December 21st of last year the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) said that there were 429 victims, and in London alone the police received 106 allegations against thirty clubs. In addition to this, the Telegraph newspaper reported that top football clubs made "secret payments" to "buy the silence" of young players sexually abused by coaches. In addition to Bennell other coaches including George Ormond, a former youth coach at Newcastle United were also alleged to have committed sexual abuse.

Dealing with the abuse

So far a number of prominent former football players have come forward to speak of their ordeal. These include former England and Tottenham midfielder Paul Stewart and ex-Manchester City striker David White. The effects of what individuals such as Bennell and Ormond have had on those they abused are life changing for the worse.

Matthew Monaghan is a key example. Likened to footballing greats such as Alan Hansen, Monaghan lasted only two months as a professional footballer, as he was unable to cope with "crippling anxiety" caused by the abuse he was subjected to by Bennell. This is just one example. As stated, there are many more.

Irrevocable failings

What has happened is a massive shock to the footballing world. Young people's lives were ruined. Forced to live with what was done to them, the effects of what happened will never go away. But even worse was the massive failure in the duty of care by the coaches towards those who they were looking after. Those who were attacked looked up to their coaches and that relationship was massively abused. It may not be until we are further down the line until we find out what exactly happened all those years ago, but so far, it is sickening to see what abuse has occurred.