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 the players involved decided to set up The Offside Trust, a new organisation committed to supporting survivors and working to make sport safer for children. The Trust is led by ex- footballer Steve Walters and former professional golfer Chris Unsworth, whose stories have inspired hundreds of people to speak out for the first time about their abuse.
We are proud to work with and support fellow survivors. In addition to Steve and Chris, the Offside Trust family includes the amazing ambassadors listed below and several others who wish to remain anonymous:
- Jason Dunford, ex-youth team player at Manchester City
- Micky Fallon, former youth team player at Crewe Alexandra
- Dean Radford, ex-professional footballer at Southampton
- Dion Raitt, former youth team player at Peterborough United
- Billy Seymour, ex-Southampton, Coventry and Millwall player
- Tristan Shaw, former School of Excellence player at Blackpool FC
- Mike Smith, ex-Bohemians FC (Dublin) footballer
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.
Please email us at email@example.com to discuss ways we can work together, and where relevant to offer support either financially or professionally.