A former Posh youth player who was abused by paedophile coach Bob Higgins has called for the club to apologise to victims after not being part of the club’s review into the crimes.
The ex-player, who was just a young teenager when he was sexually abused in Higgins’ office at London Road, went through the harrowing process of giving evidence against the former academy boss in court earlier this year.
Higgins – who was found guilty of numerous counts of indecent assault and rape against youngsters at Peterborough United and Southampton – has been jailed for 24 years.
Now Peterborough United have conducted a review into what happened, but did not speak to victims themselves.
MORE: Ex-Peterborough United players abused by paedophile coach Bob Higgins call for Posh to publish internal report
Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph, one of his victims said: “What we (victims of Higgins) want is transparency. We want to see what Posh are doing now, how they are preventing it from happening again.
“It beggars belief they have conducted this report without speaking to us.
“There were warnings about Higgins before he came to Posh. They let the lion into the den.
“I’ve had no contact with the club since. They could have approached the police, they could have contacted my solicitor.
“I haven’t even had an apology from them.”
The former academy player, who cannot be named because of legal reasons, said he would have been happy to work with the club on their safeguarding measures.
He said: “No-one can ever put right what happened, but there are children and adults who need protecting. If I can bring a little insight and help to Peterborough on how to do that and what happened to me, I would. Bit it feels like I am being treated as a statistic.”
The ex player didn’t tell anyone about what happened to him for years, before eventually telling his wife.
He said: “I was an apprentice when Bob came to the club.
“I had been away, and when I came back the club had changed. It was like a cult for some players, they were completely spellbound by him.
“He had an immense hold over them.
“He called me in one Sunday for extra training. I was the only player that was there. I was called into the office by Bob. He said all the other lads had been in and I was the last one. That is when he subjected me to sexual abuse.
“I never spoke to anyone about it. He would tell me that if I told anyone what happened he could cause a lot of harm as his brother was a gangster. I was frightened to death of him.”
Shortly after, the apprentice left the club.
He said: “I told my wife eight years ago, and then dialled the NSPCC number when it all started to come out.
“Some others came forward as well. Thank god he got put away for it.
“It was overwhelming when I saw 20 other players with their families at court.
“Our abuse should never have happened. He should never have been anywhere near the club.”
What the club has to say:
Along with Higgins, another former Posh youth coach, Michael ‘Kit’ Carson, was also accused of abusing youngsters. Carson died by suicide in a car crash on the day he was due to stand trial.
A spokesman for Peterborough United said: “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.”