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Crewe chairman John Bowler stands down in wake of Sheldon Review into sexual abuse scandal



Crewe Alexandra chairman John Bowler has resigned in the wake of the Sheldon Review, which criticised the club’s handling of the sexual abuse scandal.

Barry Bennell, the club’s youth coach and scout for two spells between 1985 and 1992, repeatedly abused young players. In 2018 he was convicted of 50 counts of child abuse against 12 boys aged eight to 15, and sentenced to 31 years in prison. Bennell was sentenced to a further four years last year.

The recent report by Clive Sheldon QC said the club should have done more to safeguard children, given the hierarchy had been warned by a senior police officer to keep a “watching brief” on Bennell.

“I always intended to [stand down] following the conclusion of the Sheldon Review,” Bowler said. “As the only person left with an association to that era, I truly believe it was important for me to see it through to conclusion.

“I am satisfied with the findings of the reviews that found the club did not have any knowledge of Barry Bennell’s heinous crimes. I will always be deeply appalled and sorry that those young players and their families suffered and the hands of this evil predator.

“I personally and sincerely apologise to them all for their suffering.”

More to follow…


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