In November 2016, British football was rocked by a series of high-profile revelations regarding child sexual abuse. Several former professional players bravely waived their right to anonymity to speak out about their past abuse.
A number of those involved, decided to set up the Offside Trust, an organisation committed to supporting survivors and working to make sport safer for children.
Former professional footballer Steve Walters is director of the Offside Trust.
We are proud to work with and support fellow survivors. In addition to Steve, the Offside Trust family includes the amazing ambassadors listed below and several others who wish to remain anonymous:
- Gary Cliffe, former youth team player at Manchester City
- Dion Raitt, former youth team player at Peterborough United
- Alan Arber, former Norwich City player
- Callum Hancock, Professional boxer
- Billy Seymour, former Coventry and Millwall player. (Sadly passed away in 2019. RIP Billy.)
The Offside Trust already has the support of clubs, players and former professionals throughout the sporting world.
We focus on all sports, not just football. We are grateful for the support that we are getting from everyone including the people in cricket, rugby, golf and boxing, helping to raise further awareness across sport.
The Offside Trust works alongside governing bodies, charities and organisations that deal with safeguarding.
Successes to date have included:
In the coming months, our work will include:
The huge uptake of all our services proves that there is a real need for the Offside Trust.
We do acknowledge that clubs and organisations have made vast improvements in safeguarding. We are keen to ensure these high standards are used as examples for the lower league and grassroots clubs to allow them to integrate these easily.
We now need your help to continue to support survivors of abuse in sport, and keep our children safe. We are keen to establish working relationships with organisations who pledge publicly that safeguarding is high on their agenda and to create an open door policy for partner organisations to assist them to deliver relevant support where required.