Football’s Darkest Secret is a new three-part documentary series directed by Daniel Gordon on BBC One that explores sexual abuse and pedophilia in British football.
After investigating the abuse of serial pedophile Barry Bennell in the first episode, the second episode is about Bob Higgins.
He is a former football coach at the youth academies of Southampton and Peterborough United. He was found guilty of sexually abusing young soccer trainees for approximately 20 years.
What did Bob Higgins do?
Bob Higgins worked as a football coach for several large teams in England from the early 1970s to the late 1990s.
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After Barry Bennell’s ill pedophile past was exposed in 2016, dozens of Bob Higgins victims contacted police.
They explained how Bob had groomed her as a young teenager.
The BBC documentary describes how he showered certain club trainees with affection and praise.
Then he sexually abused her and tried to normalize his perverted behavior.
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The victim Billy Seymour explains in the documentary: “He treated me very favorably. It was pretty overwhelming.
“He kind of gave me a shine.”
Then he explained how he started sexually abusing him.
Meanwhile, several other men describe the abuse they subsequently suffered from Bob.
They all share similar experiences. Bob made each of them feel unique only to move on and horribly abuse their trust.
When was Bob Higgins first accused of abuse?
It was in the 1990s that his first victims came forward.
In 1991 he was charged with six indecent assaults against boys.
However, he was acquitted on the judge’s orders for lack of evidence.
Despite the trial, he trained youth at Peterborough United.
He later got a job as a manager at Bashley, who does not play in the league.
When did Bob Higgins go to jail?
Bob was originally charged with 65 counts of indecent assault in 2017. The allegations spread from the 1970s and 1990s, and 24 victims said they had been ill-treated.
In his 2018 trial, he denied all charges. However, he was found guilty of one indecent assault charge, not another, and the jury did not reach a verdict on the remaining charges.
The proceedings were resumed in 2019. Here, Bob was found guilty of indecent assault in 45 cases out of a total of 51.
He was sentenced to 24 years and three months in prison.
Judge Peter Crabtree described Bob as “predatory, cunning, and manipulative”.
He continued, “Some of the boys adored you and were ready to do whatever they could to make their dreams of becoming professional footballers come true.
“You encouraged many of them to treat you as a father figure. It had a profound effect on a number of boys raised without a father who were vulnerable. “
Bob Higgins still alive today?
Bob Higgins is still alive and remains in jail. At the time of this writing, he is approximately 68 years old.
How to See Football’s Darkest Secret
All episodes of Football’s Darkest Secret can be streamed on BBC iPlayer. The series will continue on BBC One tonight and Wednesday March 24th at 9 p.m.
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