Charity football match shows sexual abuse red card

The Offside Trust will be tackling sexual abuse in football and on August 20 will be holding its first chairty match with ex-pros and actors joining in.
The Offside Trust will be tackling sexual abuse in football and on August 20 will be holding its first chairty match with ex-pros and actors joining in.

A host of famous faces including Danny Murphy, Trevor Sinclair and Ralf Little will be lacing up their football boots for a charity event aimed at tackling sexual abuse in football.

The Offside Trust will be holding its inaugural match on Sunday August 20 to raise funds and awareness to help safeguard children in sport.

Founding member of the charity and abuse survivor, Chris Unsworth, from Hayfield, said: “I was abused between the ages of eight and 14 while playing youth football and I put it in a box it in my head and tried to forget about it, but it is still happening and someone needs to stand up and say it’s not right.”

The trust was formed by Chris and another football abuse survivor, Steve Walters.

It aims to encourage more people to speak out if they have been abused, and provide support for those who need it.

The charity football match will take place at Curzon Ashton FC and is being supported by £10,000 worth of donations from both the Professional Football Association and the Football Association.

It will bring together ex-players such as Manchester City’s Paul Dickov and Everton’s Lee Carsley with the likes of actors and celebrities such as Emmerdale actor Kurtis Stacey.

Chris said: “We know worldwide there may be thousands of people who have been abused and we want them to know it’s okay and we believe them.

“This match is a brilliant way to do that. We have been very lucky to get some great ex-professional players and actors who support the work we are doing and hopefully it will get people talking.”

He added: “Since I started talking about what happened I’ve been on a strange journey, but knowing I could be helping others is helping me too.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit theoffsidetrust.com.