An alleged victim of Barry Bennell lived at the former football coach’s house after an arrangement which was made with the ex-Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi, a court heard.
A video was shown to Liverpool crown court on Friday of a police interviewing the man and alleged Bennell raped him between 18 and 20 times at his house.
Bennell, 64 years, is currently on trial on 48 charges in connection with 11 boys between 1979 and 1991.
The man said he’d be at the coach’s home with other boys while playing for Crewe’s youth team.
When he was asked who suggested he stay there, he said: “The football club. It’d have been Dario Gradi, the manager. Dario was the manager and Barry was assigned the youth.”
The man said Gradi resisted him from living there after about 18 months, adding: “I grew up with the thought that Dario saved me from Barry.”
He explained to the police how Bennell had first attempted to touch him while in a bunk bed, but told him to go away.
“Nothing happened then for some time and he started to somehow play mind games, saying I would not be able to play for England. He was not putting me in the right position. I got ejected from the football team.”
Bennell was seen like “a god” in these years he was sexually abusing kids, the jury heard according to Guardian
About a month and two weeks later “was when it first happened”, he said.
“He had this leverage over you and he had this shitty streak. He could turn you on just like that. He would say: ‘I will ruin your football career.’”
The complainant cried sometimes as he explained being “numb with fear” while allegedly being abused by Bennell.
“You feel like you can’t move. All I try to think about is my football. I can say nothing because of my football.”
He told police the abuse stopped when Gradi stopped him from staying at Bennell’s house.
When asked the reason for the change, he answered: “I have no idea. All I can recollect is it just stopped.
“I grew up thinking Dario rescued me from Barry. I didn’t stay there again.”
According to BBC, top figures at Manchester City knows about this abuse. “Senior figures at Manchester City knew about sexual abuse happening at the club,” a victim giving evidence against former football coach Barry Bennell has said in court.
Bennell, who has been imprisoned in England and the United States for abuse of children, denies all such charges but has pleaded guilty to 7 counts in connection to 3 other junior players.
The trial still continues…