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Football's Darkest Secret

BBC

Director - Daniel Gordon

Producer - Hugh Davies

Executive Producers - John Battsek, Steve Boulton, Ron McCullagh and Jon Ossoff

Watch on BBC iPlayer

Runtime 3 x 60 min

2022

Broadcast Media Awards

Best Documentary Series (nominated)

2022

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL

BEST DOCUMENTARY SERIES (NOMINEE)

The Guardian

The Guardian

“It is a hard, spare and unrelenting three hours”

Lucy Mangan

THE TIMES

THE TIMES

“A skilfully made film”

CAROL MIDGLEY

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail

“Crucial and Compelling”

Christopher Stevens

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

“A bleak but important watch”

Anita Singh

The i

The i

“An emotional, fearless account of child sexual abuse”

Emily Baker

Behind the goals, behind the glory - the child abuse football ignored. Their stories were overlooked for decades, until the survivors finally had their voices heard.

In November 2016, former footballer Andy Woodward came forward with a shocking tale of abuse that he suffered at the hands of his youth coach, Barry Bennell. In the storm that followed, hundreds of men made allegations against hundreds of their childhood coaches.

The programme charts these survivors from the years of abuse during their early adolescence, then explores how it affected them as they tried to pursue their footballing dreams as professionals. Whether Steve Walters starring as a youngster at Crewe or David White playing for Man City or Paul Stewart scoring in the FA Cup final for Spurs, they all feel they couldn’t enjoy their career highs because of the heavy burden of the mental scars they were carrying.