Who is Andy Woodward and what happened to his abuser Barry Bennell?

Floodlights is a new BBC drama about the true story of a professional footballer who experienced sexual abuse as a youth player

He became a football sex abuse whistleblower when he spoke out about grooming and abuse by coaching staff.

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While Woodward accused one person of abuse, he also said there were multiple perpetrators.

Gerard Kearns as Andy Woodward in Floodlights

Who did Andy Woodward play for?

Woodward started his professional career at Crewe in 1992 and joined Bury in 1995, where he made 135 appearances for the club in five years.

In 2000, Woodward was signed by Sheffield United but only played four games for the team.

He was twice on loan for Scunthorpe and was signed by Halifax Town in 2011.

He was dropped by Halifax Town when the club went into administration in 2002 and joined Norwich Victoria where he made eight games for the team.

Was Woodward a victim of sexual abuse?

In an interview with The Guardian in 2016, Woodward claimed he was a victim of sexual abuse while an intern at Crewe Alexandra in the 1980s.

The allegations shed light on the national football abuse scandal and hundreds more male victims came forward after Woodward spoke up.

Andy Woodward spoke about his abuse in 2016

Bennell was a scout for Manchester City and coached their feeder teams in the 1970s and 1980s.

He is currently serving a 34-year sentence for sexual offenses against 22 boys, although more than 100 victims are believed to have made allegations of sexual abuse by the paedophile.

In his 2019 biography, Position of Trust: A football dream betrayed, Woodward describes how Bennell nurtured him and his family.

Woodward also explains that he and others experienced multiple rapes while training at Crewe Alexandra.

Bennell also married Woodward’s older sister, Lynda, in 1991 after the abuse took place.

What did Woodward do after leaving football?

After retiring from football in 2003, Woodward joined the police force and worked in Lancashire.

He spent 12 years with the police but was fired in November 2016 for having a relationship with the adult sister of a crime victim.

What is Floodlights about?

Floodlights is a dramatic retelling of Woodward’s life, from his days as a trainee at Crewe, through his professional career, to his decision to go public with his abuse.

The 80-minute special stars Gerard Kearns, best known for his role as Ian Gallagher in Shameless, and Jonas Armstrong, who played the title role in BBC series Robin Hood, as predator Barry Bennell.

The drama was made in collaboration with Woodward, who said he hopes the film will help end abuse in football at all levels.

When is Floodlights on TV?

Floodlights will air on BBC Two on 17 May at 9pm and will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer shortly after it first aired.

https://www.nationalworld.com/culture/television/andy-woodward-footballer-abused-barry-bennell-bbc-documentary-floodlights-tv-3693818 Who is Andy Woodward and what happened to his abuser Barry Bennell?


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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