Ex-Chorley player is latest to come forward in football abuse scandal

Former Chorley striker David Eatock is the latest player to claim he was abused by a football coach as a youngster.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 11:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:41 pm
David Eatock as a Chorley player in 1997

Eatock, now 40, has waived his anonymity to say he was a victim of sexual abuse during his time at Newcastle United.

“I signed for Newcastle as a really confident boy - and when I left I was a shell,” he said on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.

“I’ve spent 20 years wondering why I didn’t do anything.”

Eatock, now a presonal trainer, came forward after another former Newcastle player, Derek Bell, identified youth team coach George Ormond as a man who had abused him during his time at St James’ Park.

Ormond was jailed for six years in 2002 for a string of offences committted over almost 25 years. He was described in court as “a predatory abuser of young boys.”

Eatock, who was sold to Newcastle as an 18-year-old for £25,000 in 1995, claimed Ormond had abused him twice in the space of two-and-a-half years.

But, like so many other former footballers who have come forward over the past few days, he felt unable to tell anyone ans stayed silent.

“I was embarrassed,” he said. “I’m not homophobic by any stretch of the imagination, but I was worried that people were going to think I was gay and I must have encouraged it. The culture back then was so tough.

“There was this awful feeling of guilt and shame. I didn’t say anything, but from that moment I lost my confidence. I just went in a shell. It really affected me.”

Eatock finally decided to break his silence after former Crewe Alexandra player Andy Woodward went public in an interview with a newspaper two weeks ago.

“I’m just glad Andy, by speaking out, has given me the strength to do this, because I never would have otherwise.

“It’s been like a knot in my brain and I’m now trying to pick apart that knot.”

Eatock says he is now having therapy for a number of issues that he links, in part, to his ordeal.

The young striker broke into the Chorley first team as a 17-year-old and a year later was propelled into the professional game when Kevin Keegan signed him for Newcastle on a three-year contract.

But a serious knee injury ended his professional career at the age of 21 before he had made a first team appearance.