Eric Bristow's Twitter Comments About Football Abuse Victims Condemned By Everyone

'MBE: Massive Bell End'.
<strong>Eric Bristow, five-time world darts champion, has faced widespread criticism.</strong>
Eric Bristow, five-time world darts champion, has faced widespread criticism.
Andrew Redington via Getty Images

Former world darts champion Eric Bristow has received universal condemnation after questioning the bravery of footballers who have spoken out about being sexually abused by coaches.

More than 20 ex-players have alleged they were victims of growing a sex abuse scandal, with five police forces now investigating their claims.

Andy Woodward became the first to speak out last week about abuse he suffered at the hands of Barry Bennell, a convicted child abuser, a former Crewe Alexandra coach.

But Bristow, 59, a five-times world champion, MBE and now a Sky Sports darts pundit, took to Twitter to air his views.

He latterly corrected himself, underlining his ignorance of the issue.

Among those to disparage Bristow’s remarks was ex-Crewe player Steve Walters, one the first ex-players to speak out about the abuse they faced.

Walters and the other footballers were given widespread support.

The outrage comes as Bennell has been taken to hospital after being found unconscious, in what police called a “fear for welfare” incident.

Bennell worked for Crewe, Manchester City, Stoke and junior teams in north-west England and the Midlands, and abused young boys from the 1970s onwards.

He was jailed for four years for raping a British boy on a 1994 football tour of Florida, and given a nine-year sentence for 23 offences against six boys in England in 1998.

He was jailed for a third time in 2015 after admitting abusing a boy at a 1980 football camp in Macclesfield.

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