Something nasty at Crewe called Barry Bennell.

citydrinker

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Let me first say that I have always respected Dario Gradi as an inspirational manager and a champion of youth policy.

That is an ethos that I have also, always respected, with regard to those who empowered him, at board level, to be able to do so.

It gives me no pleasure, therefore, to highlight the following;

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/19/andy-woodward
 

Alistair20000

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i heard about this appalling matter on the wireless this morning. Truly shocking and IMO the Count got off far too light with 9 years.
 

elginCity

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Puzzled by the OP, and the implication that Dario Gradi was aware of Bennell's behaviour and therefore complicit. Other than Bennell using his home (Gradi being unaware, apparently), what grounds is there ?
 

fred binneys head

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I'm fascinated to see if anything comes out about gradi - someone in the football industry told me a rumour about gradi in the early 1990s which I kind of ignored as it seemed without substance and of course many years went by with nothing being reported about him.

Now this at Crewe.......
 

elginCity

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There's often been whispers about his sexuality (he never married), and whether that's true or not, it doesn't make him a paedo. I guess there's been rumours about his interest in young lads too, although not been aware of them.

First met Dario Gradi while he was a PE teacher on the same school trip as us skiing in France, when I broke a leg. I was 10, and remained with the school party rather than go home and Dario was brilliant after he discovered my love for football. Told him I'd have to miss the school's final played at SJP. He kept in contact afterwards, always writing on FA headed notepaper as he had a coaching role with them at the time, and even sent down a football kit and Gola boots for after I'd recovered. He owned a sports shop in Ewell, Surrey. While visiting friends in Cobham, my Dad dropped me off for a couple of hours to see him in Ewell one afternoon. Dario showed me around the shop, even went up to his flat to show off his England Amateur caps. After that he drove me up to Epsom Downs racecourse in his Aston Martin and bought an ice cream. Classic 'grooming' behaviour some would venture in this cynical age. But at no point did he lay a finger on me, and at no point with him did I ever feel uncomfortable. Danny Murphy has claimed similarly in an article in The Times.

Met him again when he brought his Glyn School football team to Exeter on tour, they used to stay at Pixie's Holt on Dartmoor, was invited to join them and he used to put on reel to reels of classic England v Scotland games. He even once came to our house for 'tea', and took my little brother and I for a spin in the sports car up to Haldon Hill. Once again nothing untoward happened.

Lost touch eventually, but I've never forgotten his kindness and generosity, he genuinely had an interest in young lads and football, but always the right kind of interest.

If anything of substance comes to light, I'll be astounded, as he had plenty of opportunity to abuse back then and didn't. In the meantime I'll be fighting the whisperers and defending his corner, I owe him that at the very least.
 

Hants_red

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Devon and Cornwall police investigating abuse claims relating to local football clubs. No clubs named though.
 

Rabid Doug

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Fair enough Elgin. I too hope that nothing comes out about him because there is nothing to come out about him.
Despite saying he knew nothing about Bennell until 1994, it now appears Gradi received a letter from a concerned mother in 1989 , not forgetting he also tried to smooth over Eddie Heath abuse whilst working for Chelsea. I am sure he can explain away all this
 

Stuffy

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Devon and Cornwall police investigating abuse claims relating to local football clubs. No clubs named though.
Tonight's news has just mentioned that 98 clubs, professional and amateur, and 83 potential suspects are now involved into child abuse in football.
 
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