Former King’s Lynn goalkeeper speaks out on football sex abuse scandal

Long Melford, Suffolk. Mildenhall Town FC Manager Dean Greygoose. ''Picture: MARK BULLIMORE ANL-160110-231154009
Long Melford, Suffolk. Mildenhall Town FC Manager Dean Greygoose. ''Picture: MARK BULLIMORE ANL-160110-231154009

One-time Linnets goalkeeper Dean Greygoose has spoken out about the current child abuse scandal that is rocking football.

Greygoose, who played 20 times for King’s Lynn in the 2002-2003 season, played more than 200 games for the club at the centre of the allegations, Crewe Alexandra.

Now the manager of Thurlow Nunn Premier League leaders Mildenhall Town, he spoke out to mount a robust defence of himself and other players who were at the club when coach Barry Bennell was alleged to be preying on youth team players.

Greygoose, who is also a Norwich City Academy coach, has revealed he is a good friend of Steve Walters, one of four players who emotionally opened up about child abuse at the Gresty Road club’s academy in the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show.

The pair played together at Crewe during the late 1980s and early 1990s as well as at two other clubs and have remained friends.

Greygoose, who began his career at Cambridge United before going on to play 205 games in goal for them between 1987 and 1993 as well as coaching in their academy, said: “I cannot say what I want to say until the investigation is completed at Crewe, but I knew nothing about it.

“Steve Walters is a very good friend of my family and someone I played with at three different clubs.

“It was a shock and I did not know — our families even spent Christmas together.”

He added: “There is more to come, no doubt about it, there is a lot more to come.”

“I would not have turned a blind eye to it, I had a family of my own in Crewe. If I would have known I would have gone straight to the police. I did not know, even the families did not know, so how could the players be expected to know?

“The only ones who knew were the people who were being abused. One of them said the experienced players knew, but I can honestly say I did not know.”

But Greygoose now hopes the media spotlight shone on the scandal since Andy Woodward, a player he also played with at Crewe, sparked the revelations in the Guardian, can help the players to get justice and help them to move on from the trauma.

“These people need to be named and, if they are guilty and still alive, they need to be put away.”

“It tends to be a British thing to sweep things under the carpet, but they are not going to get away with it this time and I hope the people who did these things get caught and punished.” The Cambridge-based Mildenhall manager also recalls how he had stood up to one occasion where he saw the youth players being mis-treated at Crewe. In an incident which Walters has described himself, when youth team coach Barry Bennell dropped some of the team off at Beeston Castle, some 15 miles from Crewe, and told them to walk home following a bad performance against Manchester United’s A team, Greygoose said: “I have always been known as a bit of a loud mouth and I was not happy about the players being dropped at Beeston Castle. None of the experienced players were. “I remember thinking ‘that is not right, that is eight miles (sic) back’.”

He added: “I have done a lot of soul searching in the last week or so and I am trying to see if there is anything I can remember that will help in any way, but I cannot. “My wife went to every game with me as well but she cannot remember anything either.” Asked if he had been in contact with the players who have spoke out, he said: “I have only just sent them text messages but I will speak to them properly when everything calms down a but.

“They are very brave people trying to attack this in their way.” When asked what he would say to other players who have been abused who might be weighing up whether to go public, he replied: “It is up to them. But people can talk to someone in confidence now, that is the thing now, they can talk to someone who will listen.

“There is no reason to suffer in silence anymore.”

Former football coach Barry Bennell, 62, is due to appear at South Cheshire magistrates court on December 14, charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy under the age of 14. The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1981 and 1985.