London [UK], Nov. 24 (ANI
): Former Manchester City and England star David White
has claimed that he was sexually abused as a child by former Crewe coach Barry Bennell.
White, best known for his long association with Manchester City, is the fourth player to make such claims of sexual abuse, following former Crewe duo Andy Woodward and Steve Walters, and ex-Spurs forward Paul Stewart.
"For a number of reasons, and for nearly two decades, I kept my ordeal secret from my family and friends," White was quoted as saying by Mirror.co.uk.
"Circumstances took me away from the abuse before it escalated. I salute Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart for so bravely revealing their personal tragedies," he added.
The 49-year-old, who is releasing a book in which he will document the abuse from the coach who he admits he 'hero-worshipped' as a child, said the physical abuse suffered by the other three was certainly more extreme and prolonged than his ordeal, and he cannot be sure that he would have their courage.
White also admits that Bennell's actions 'influenced almost every event and relationship' of his life.
Paul, the former Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool player, has also come forward to allege he was sexually abused by another coach in the north-west from the ages of 11 to 15.
Bennell, who coached leading junior teams in Manchester, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1998 after admitting 23 specimen charges of sexual offences against six boys aged nine to 15, with another 22 offences left on file.
In his illustrious career, White made more than 340 appearances for Man City before going to play for Leeds and Sheffield United, earning a solitary England cap. (ANI