Stalybridge Celtic to back Offside Trust to eradicate abuse in sport

STALYBRIDGE Celtic have given their backing to the Offside Trust that was set up earlier this year to eradicate abuse in sport.

They have allowed the trust to place one of their boards pitchside at Bower Fold.

Pictured (l-r): Syd White, Stalybridge Celtic’s chief operating officer; Chris Unsworth and Michael Beech

The trust was set up by Steve Walters and Chris Unsworth, two young footballers who were victims of sexual abuse with their alleged abuser due to stand trial in January.

Steve explained: “Our main objective is to raise awareness and ultimately eradicate abuse in sport.

“It is quite a big word which can involve physical as well as mental.

“We also want to help with the healing process giving victims the opportunity to talk about their experiences.

“There are organisations victims can ring, but Steve and myself have been through it so can relate through our experiences, ones that affects whole families.”

Chris and Steve, both directors of the Offside Trust, are also offering clubs advice with safeguarding procedures and are working with one in the Premier League.

Chris was a young player at Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra when the alleged attacks took place and he says he walked away from football aged 16, mainly through it.

He became a professional golfer for a time but for the last 25 years has worked for the family funeral directors.

Chris says his link to Stalybridge Celtic came through cricket as both he and Michael Beech, the football club’s general manager/football secretary, played in the Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League.

Michael said: “We are supporting the Offside Trust and admire the work it is doing to eradicating abuse in football.

“We showed that by letting the trust put a board on the ground and we invited Chris to a recent game.”


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