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Paedophile ex-football coach Bob Higgins has been jailed for 24 years after being found guilty of sexually abusing young players over a 25-year period.

Higgins, who worked with hundreds of youth players, had previously been found guilty of 46 charges of indecent assault against 24 teenage boys.

He ran youth training programmes at Southampton and Peterborough football clubs and spent a period as the Maltese national youth coach. Over two trials a picture of Higgins emerged of a man who abused his position of power to take advantage of a string of vulnerable players.

Higgins, 66, was found to have abused his “position of power” over the future careers of the young players, in order to take advantage of them for his own personal needs.

Victims of the former Southampton FC and Peterborough United junior football coach Bob Higgins have branded him a monster who stole their innocence and wrecked their dreams by grooming and sexually abusing them.

 

Some told the court they had tried to kill themselves or turned to drink and drugs to try to blot out the abuse. Many said they had struggled over the years with flashbacks, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, lack of trust, and problems with personal relationships.

Evening Standard / BBC / Guardian