Football: Coach at centre of abuse scandal taken to hospital by police after 'incident'

AFP - The paedophile coach at the centre of an abuse scandal that has rocked English football has been taken to hospital by police responding to a "fear for welfare incident", it was announced on Monday (Nov 28).

Barry Bennell has been at the centre of numerous revelations after former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward came forward to reveal he was abused by the convicted child molester in the 1980s.

A statement issued by Thames Valley police on Monday referring to Bennell said: "Police officers attended an address in Knebworth Park, Stevenage (north-west of London) just before 11:00pm on Friday, Nov 25 in connection with a fear for welfare incident.

"A 62-year-old man was located and was taken to hospital in order to receive medical treatment, where he remains.

"At this stage of enquiries, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

The Guardian newspaper, the first to interview Woodward, reported that Bennell had been found unconscious.

Bennell, who worked for Crewe, Manchester City and Stoke City, sexually abused young boys across three decades from the 1970s onwards. He was given a four-year sentence for raping a British boy during a football tour of Florida in 1994 and a nine-year sentence for 23 offences against six boys in England in 1998.

He was jailed again in 2015 for abusing a boy at a football camp in Macclesfield, north-west England, in 1980.

Sunday saw England's governing Football Association react to the recent revelations by announcing it had appointed leading lawyer Kate Gallafent, an expert in child protection, to assist it with an internal review of the allegations.

The FA said the review would find out "what information the FA was aware of at the relevant times around the issues that have been raised in the press, what clubs were aware of, and what action was or should have been taken".

Gallafent will then make recommendations "to ensure these situations can never be repeated".