Youngsters who worked with the Chelsea football coach accused of sexually assaulting a youth team player have said teammates feared being left alone with him.
Eddie Heath has been accused of abusing a youth team footballer during his time as the club’s chief scout in the 1960s and 1970s.
Now, two other former squad members claim they and their teammates would race to get off the team bus to avoid being left alone with Heath and abused.
Speaking to the Mirror , they alleged lads would even play through injuries to avoid the treatment room where Heath would also prey on them.
It comes after the Daily Telegraph reported that hush money was paid by Chelsea in the past three years to the victim, with the club refusing to comment on any of the details.
Heath died before the allegation was made.
One of the former squad members said: “I can vividly recall people asking did you get ‘caught’ by Eddie today and there literally was a scramble on the minibus to get off first.
“The last lad on would invariably get molested in the back of the bus.
“He always had what we used to call girlie mags on the desk of his office.
"He wanted to see if the lads were aroused when he went in.
“He came across as a very decent, honourable man but this was clearly part of his cover and this should all have come out earlier.
“But he exerted great influence at the club and could make or break our careers – it was as simple as that.”
Heath, who died before any allegations were made and can not defend himself, discovered some of the club’s greatest players, including Ray Wilkins.
'It makes no sense whatsoever to me'
The former England captain, 60, said: “I knew Eddie very well. It makes no sense whatsoever to me. Eddie was a great guy.”
In a statement on the Chelsea FC website, the club said it had appointed a law firm to investigate an “individual employed by the club in the 1970s”.
On Friday (November 25) the Met said it had received information about sexual abuse at football clubs in London following revelations that former players were abused as young boys.
Ex-Crewe player Andy Woodward was the first to come forward to accuse former coach Barry Bennell of sexual abuse in the 1980s.
Former England international Paul Stewart, who scored for Tottenham when they won the FA Cup in 1991, has also revealed he was a victim (see video above).
Since then, a dedicated football sex abuse hotline has received 860 calls in its first week, the NSPCC have said.
The helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.
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