Paedophile football coach Barry Bennell worked as care worker at Derbyshire home

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Convicted paedophile Barry Bennell, who is at the centre of a large scale investigation into historic sexual abuse involving young football players, was once employed at a children’s home in Derbyshire.

The 62-year-old, who has served three prison sentences for child sex offences, worked as a social care worker at Taxal Edge, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, between November 1979 and July 1981.

Bennell, a former youth scout and junior football coach, has previously served three prison sentences for child abuse spanning 20 years.

Last week new allegations against Bennell emerged, in which four former footballers - Andy Woodward, Chris Unsworth, Jason Dunford and Steve Walters - claimed they were sexually abused by him.

The Taxal Edge residential home, which was run by the Together Trust, then known as the Boys and Girls Welfare Society, closed in 2004.

Jill Sheldrake, service director and lead safeguarding officer for the Together Trust, said: “Barry Bennell was employed by the Together Trust as a residential social care worker at Taxal Edge between November 1979 and July 1981.

“We fully supported the police when they investigated Bennell in the 1990s.

“We take the wellbeing of the people we support extremely seriously, and we check and train our staff to deliver high quality care and support services.

“Our priority now, as always, is ensuring that we offer the highest quality of care to our young people so they live the lives they choose.”

On Wednesday, November 23 an ex-pupil at Taxal Edge, recalled memories of Bennell on a Facebook page called ‘Taxal Edge Childrens Home’.

The post said: “Barry Bennell worked as a care worker at Taxal Edge in the early 80’s.

“I remember him using the garage to breed lots of big white rabbits, which he then sold to rase cash. He also took a group of us to Old Trafford and sneaked us in to see Man Utd play.”

Four police forces across the country are now investigating claims of historic child abuse within football.

Derbyshire Constabulary has said the force has not received any calls in relation to Bennell.

A special NSPCC hotline has received more than 100 calls since it was set up on Thursday.