Ex-Peterborough United players abused by paedophile coach Bob Higgins call for Posh to publish internal report
Former Posh players who were abused by disgraced paedophile ex-coach Bob Higgins have called for the club to publish its report into the abuse at London Road.
Higgins was jailed for 24 years earlier this year after he was convicted of 45 counts of indecent assault on academy player at Peterborough United and Southampton.
Now nine ex-Posh players have come forward saying they were abused by Higgins.
Another ex-youth coach, Michael ‘Kit’ Carson, had been accused of abusing young players, but he died by suicide in a car crash on the day he was due to stand trial and face the allegations.
Peterborough United has carried out a review into the abuse – but that report has not been publicly published.
Solicitor Dino Nocivelli, who represents a number of Higgins’ victims, called for that report to be published – and for the club to give the abuse survivors a personal apology after they were not asked to contribute to the club’s investigation.
He said: “It is not acceptable to exclude the survivors from the process. They want to know what happened, and how it was allowed to happen – could it have been stopped, could more have been done?
“The fact the report has not been published is making it worse for them.”
The club has also not confirmed if the review included looking at the Carson case, or was only focused on Higgins.
Mr Nocivelli, who is a lawyer representing a substantial group of child abuse survivors against several clubs following a series of abuse cases across the country, said: “The club should now publish the report.
“They should also offer personal apologies, whether that is face to face or with a personal letter to the survivors. That would mean a lot to these men and it would help them considerably.”
A Peterborough United spokesman said: “Peterborough United Football Club would like to offer an unreserved apology to all victims and survivors of abuse by former employee Bob Higgins.
“As a football club, we recognise and understand that some of the players under our care were subjected to unacceptable abuse and for this, the club is very sorry.
“We first received an allegation against Bob Higgins in January 2013. We immediately reported this allegation to the police, the FA, the Football League and the local authority and the case was taken on by Hampshire Police, who on July 8, 2014, emailed our club secretary to confirm that following their investigation no further action was taken against Mr Higgins and Mr (Kit) Carson.
“We received one further complaint in 2017 which again we immediately reported to the relevant organisations. Since 2017, we have been working closely and provided our full assistance and co-operation with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies including the Clive Sheldon QC inquiry.
“The club would like to reiterate that the safeguarding procedures in place at the football club are of the highest order. We have worked closely with a charity partner, the NSPCC and have continued (and will continue) to educate players within our care. We are saddened that a number of players have suffered at the hands of an individual that has been employed at this football club and once again we offer an unreserved apology to all victims and survivors of abuse by Bob Higgins.”
Higgins was youth team manager at Peterborough United between May 1995 and April 1996. Carson was academy director at London Road between 1993 and 2001.