Ex-Peterborough United youth manager Bob Higgins in football abuse investigation

A clipping from the Peterborough Evening Telegraph from April 30, 1996, when Bob Higgins left Peterborough United
A clipping from the Peterborough Evening Telegraph from April 30, 1996, when Bob Higgins left Peterborough United

A former Peterborough United football coach has been named as one of the suspects being investigated following reports of historical child abuse in the game.

Bob Higgins was youth team manager at Peterborough United from May 1995 to April 1996 when he left by mutual consent.

The Football League issued a letter to all Football League clubs in 1989 advising against any involvement with the ‘Bob Higgins Academy’ in 1989.

Posh issued a statement today (December 5). It read: “Mr Higgins was employed by the football club by previous owners and a past management team. The club are holding an internal investigation into this matter and will take any allegations seriously. We will co-operate with all of the governing bodies and the police during this time.”

Another of Higgins’ former clubs, Southampton, contacted police recently after receiving information in relation to historical child abuse.

The Premier League club said it will work with Hampshire Police as a major probe into historical child sex abuse in youth football continues up and down the country.

The BBC said it had spoken to six players who had named Higgins to police.

Higgins was charged with sexual offences against boys in 1992 but cleared on the direction of a judge. In 1997, the BBC reported, letters were sent to clubs warning them about him.

Southampton FC said: “Southampton Football Club would like to confirm that we have contacted Hampshire Police following information supplied to us in relation to historical child abuse within football.

“Hampshire Police and Southampton Football Club are committed to working together to investigate any historical allegations that may be brought to light in the Hampshire area.

“The club has informed Hampshire Police that we will offer our full support to any investigation they undertake, for as long as it takes, and with our full focus.”

At least 18 police forces across Britain are investigating allegations made by 350 alleged victims.

Victims who have not yet come forward are urged by police to call the NSPCC helpline on 0800 023 2642.