Ex-England manager Taylor was 'warned of abuse' at Villa

Ex-England manager Taylor was 'warned of abuse' at Villa
From BBC - September 13, 2017

Ex-Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor was warned about the abuse of young players in the 1980s, the FA's inquiry into sexual abuse has been told.

One victim told the Victoria Derbyshire show he was advised to "sweep it under the carpet" and not tell the police.

A new document appears to show paedophile Ted Langford worked as a scout for Villa almost two years after staff were first warned about him.

A club spokesman said safeguarding was of "paramount importance".

Langford, who is now dead, was convicted in 2007 of historical abuse against four boys, three of whom were linked to Aston Villa football club.

Tony Brien - who has waived his right to anonymity - revealed on the Victoria Derbyshire programme in January that he was abused numerous times by Langford while playing for a local youth team from the age of 12.

Aged 16, Mr Brien was signed for Leicester City by then youth team manager Dave Richardson, recommended by Langford, who was a part-time scout for the club.

Two years later, in the summer of 1987, Mr Richardson joined Aston Villa as assistant manager and Langford moved with him.

Later that season Mr Brien said he decided to call Mr Richardson to warn him about the scout's behaviour.

Mr Brien, aged 18 or 19 at the time, claimed he had a number of conversations with Mr Richardson and later a single conversation with manager Graham Taylor, but was put off from going public with the allegations.

'Burst into tears'

In oral evidence to the FA's independent inquiry into sexual abuse, he said: "They discouraged me from going forward and never offered me a chance to go to the police or anything like that.

"I went into the kitchen at my mum's and my mum said, 'Well?'And I just said, 'They just told me to sweep it underneath the carpet.'And I burst into tears."

In his interview with Victoria Derbyshire, Mr Brien added that Mr Taylor had said to him: "Look, you are a young lad starting out in the game. I know you have just made your debut. Could you really be dealing with all the obscenities from the terraces? So I just suggest you sweep it under the carpet."

Mr Brien played for Leicester City and number of other league clubs. He never played for Aston Villa. In December 2016 he first gave a police statement outlining allegations against Langford and the response of Aston Villa FC.

Graham Taylor died of a heart attack in January.

Dave Richardson told the Victoria Derbyshire programme in January that he could not recall having a conversation with Tony Brien and strongly denied he would have advised the player he should not go public.

"The bottom line is once he'd rung me, [I would have said] 'We are dealing with it, it will be dealt with in such a way whereby you do not have to worry'," he said at the time.

"I would not brush it under the carpet."

Scout sacked


Continue reading at BBC »