Ex Manchester United and Wales player blames Barry Bennell abuse for failed career


Matthew Monaghan has claimed that three years of sexual abuse by Bennell left him with anxiety attacks and ended his promising career before it started.

The Wales under 18-international says Bennell raped him a number of times while he was a youth player at Crew Alexander.

He managed to escape Bennell”s clutches at the age of 14 when he was transferred to Man Utd – but Mr Monaghan said that the damage had already been done.

He said: “I was playing for a county team in north Wales when he spotted me. He invited me to train with Crewe.

“That’s how it started off – it became more serious after that.”

Mr Monaghan added that Bennell would go on to rape him a number of times.

Monaghan was transferred to Man Utd when he was 14 but left only months into his professional career after a number of personal issues

Despite his natural talent, Mr Monaghan was too emotionally scarred from his previous experience and suffered from panic attacks throughout his short career.

After a bust-up with Red Devils youth coach Eric Harrison, he never played professionally again.

If he had not been abused by Bennell, Mr Monaghan believes he would have gone on to be a Premier League footballer.

He said: “I don”t know if I would have made it at United but I would have made a living in the Premier League.

“I could have done what Robbie Savage did in central midfield, and given a bit more.

“I”m not being big-headed. I was a decent player. Robbie was a year older but we played in the same Wales teams.

“I was also playing year or two up, and I was captain of the 15s, 16s, and 18s.”

Former Crewe player Andy Woodward was the first to speak out about the abuse he said he suffered at the hands of Bennell.

Former youth team players Chris Unsworth, Steve Walters and Jason Dunford claimed  they had also been abused by the former Crewe Alexandra coach.

David White and Paul Stewart have also waived their anonymity to speak publicly about suffering abuse as youth players.

Bennell is currently in hospital after being found collapsed inside his home by police officers last week.