Speaker Paul Stewart

A terrific if somewhat harrowing talk by Paul Stewart who had a glittering career as a professional footballer but who had as a schoolboy endured years of sexual abuse.

President John with Paul Stewart

Paul Stewart began his career at Blackpoo,l where he is in their Hall of Fame, and was then transferred to Manchester City for a fee of £200,000.  Moves followed to Tottenham, Liverpool, Crystal Palace , Wolves, Burnley, Sunderland, Stoke and his football career ended at non-league Workington.   He became an England International and was Man of the Match in the1991 FA Cup Final for Spurs against Nottingham Forest.  Overall he played 559 games and scored an impressive 139 goals.  

His talk however did not focus on his career but rather on the horrific sexual and physical abuse he suffered as a schoolby by his then coach.  Eventually after suffering in silence for more than 40 years, he broke the truth to family and friends. As a positive outcome Paul had with three others who had been similarly abused formed a charity SAVE (Association) Safeguarding and Victim Engagement. Football authorities had finally woken up to the issue and funding was being made available to support the work of SAVE particularly at the grassroots level in football.  

A harrowing and emotional talk and set out more fully in his book Damaged. Be prepared for an upsetting but worthwhile read.