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Newcastle boss Steve Bruce reveals sadness at ‘horrific’ abuse revelations

Steve Bruce File Photo
(Image credit: Phil Noble)

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce has expressed his horror at the revelations of historical abuse suffered by players from the area.

An independent report into the scandal by Clive Sheldon QC this week detailed the experiences of young footballers and revealed at least 240 suspects, including George Ormond, a jailed former aide to the Magpies’ youth set-up, and 692 survivors had been identified.

Asked if Newcastle was now a safe club, Bruce said: “One hundred per cent safe now, yes, with the safeguarding measures.

“At every club now up and down the country, we’re all appalled and there’s a sadness for me because it seems to be in my era.

“Seeing players who I played against, and top, top players at that, going through an ordeal when they’re children is horrific and horrendous.

“All the protocols, especially at our club in particular and I’m sure up and down the country now – first and foremost we have to protect young children, when you think about it, the abuse that some of them have had is absolutely horrific.

“We had to make sure that the safeguarding that every club now has in place is absolutely 100 per cent watertight, like it should be, to protect the young because it’s vital for the life-blood of the game.”

Jonathan Woodgate in action for Leeds

Jonathan Woodgate came through the youth ranks at Leeds (John Giles/PA)

Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate, 41, came through the youth system at Leeds.

The defender went on to play for Newcastle and Real Madrid, before returning to home-town club Middlesbrough with further spells at Tottenham and Stoke.

Former England international Woodgate was left shocked by the findings of the Sheldon review, which “cannot happen again”.

Woodgate said: “First and foremost, it was absolutely disgusting, what I was reading of that time.

“I came through Leeds United academy and I was lucky enough to work with some fantastic coaches at that time of my career being a young boy coming from Middlesbrough.

“I had a fantastic upbringing with them, they taught me certain lessons in life, which I will never forget.”

Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate on the touchline

Jonathan Woodgate is in his first management role at Bournemouth (Adam Davy/PA)

The Bournemouth boss continued: “As a football club, we have safeguarding in place, we are very good and take our responsibilities really seriously.

“What has gone on cannot happen again, that is for sure, and it is not going to be forgotten.

“I hope it does not get forgotten and something needs to be done about it.”