Exclusive: former youth footballer says he was trafficked as a child from Scottish to English football – where he was abused by paedophile Barry Bennell
WARNING: This report contains distressing content.
A former youth footballer says he was trafficked as a young boy from Scottish to English football – where he was abused by the notorious paedophile Barry Bennell.
Malcolm Rodger told Channel 4 News that Bennell’s actions were of “such horrific nature that it actually made me physically sick”.
In adult life, Mr Rodger went on to become a soldier – keeping silent about what happened to him for nearly 40 years.
Now, in his first TV interview, he has spoken out about the psychological damage he has had to deal with.
He says he was taken from Scotland to Blackpool for sex by two convicted abusers, Bill Kelly and Jim McCafferty.
When he got there, he was introduced to Barry Bennell, who was eventually jailed in 2018 for 50 counts of child sexual abuse.
“Bill Kelly stood at the bedroom door I suppose and kept watch,” Mr Roger said. “I was introduced to Barry Bennell. He was a coach from Man City and he could really make my career go forward.
“But what Barry Bennell did to me at Blackpool. My only memory is that it must have been of such horrific nature that it actually made me physically sick. And I can remember being tearful asking Bill Kelly, for some cleaning products to help clean the sick up at the end of the bedspread.”
Mr Rodger added: “What’s driving me forward and stepping forward and out of the shadows, is that I know there’s other victims in Scotland.”
Channel 4 News also spoke to Bill Kelly, who was convicted of abusing Malcolm Rodger and 11 other boys over a period of 22 years. But when confronted with Mr Rodger’s allegations of trafficking, Mr Kelly said the claims were categorically “not true”.
Asked what he had to say to his victims, Mr Kelly simply said: “I’m sorry if I upset you, if that’s the case. Oh yes, it ruins lives.”
The leader of the Independent Review of Sexual Abuse in Scottish Football, Martin Henry, said “substantive” new information about child sex trafficking was “now a matter for investigation by the police”.
Asked if he has evidence of trafficking, he said: “The answer to that is yes. If you’d asked me that question, a month ago, I would have said no.”