Newcastle United have released an official statement on Friday morning in response to claims of historic sexual offences, claimed to have occurred at the club in the past.

Here is the club’s official response and below what we reported earlier on the claims.

Official Newcastle United Statement:

‘At this time, the only information we have is that which appeared in the Guardian newspaper.

Clearly Newcastle United will cooperate fully with the police and relevant authorities and provide every assistance we can if or when the club receives further information.

The club would encourage anyone with information about possible child abuse in our game to report their concerns to the police, the football authorities or the NSPCC.

The FA has commissioned in conjunction with the NSPCC a specific helpline for individuals who wish to come forward with further information. The number is 0800 023 2642.’

What we reported earlier on Friday 25 November 2016:

It has now been confirmed that an eighth former professional football player has claimed that he was sexually abused whilst in junior/youth football.

Following the brave example of Andy Woodward, Paul Stewart, David White and others, this latest player has claimed that the abuse happened whilst he was in the Newcastle United youth set-up.

The Guardian say that the former Newcastle player had come forward and contacted Northumbria Police, to make allegations against George Ormond.

Ormond was a football coach in the north east who was jailed back in 2002 for six years, after it was found that he had carried out numerous assaults across a 24 year period.

Northumbria Police:

“We have received a report in relation to an allegation of historic sexual offences in Newcastle. We are working closely with, and supporting, the victim and enquiries are ongoing.”

The Guardian report:

‘The escalating story of sexual abuse in football is now threatening to take in Newcastle United, after a former player contacted the police to allege he was another victim on the back of growing concerns about a possible paedophile ring in the sport.

The ex-player, whose identity is known to the Guardian, has named George Ormond as the offender, claiming that he was sexually abused by a man who has already had a six-year prison sentence for a string of convictions involving boys from the club’s youth system over a 24-year period.

The complainant has been inspired to report the alleged abuse after the Guardian brought to light abuse suffered by former players elsewhere.’

If there is one positive to come out of this sad tale, it must be that the former players now coming forward to expose what happened in the past, can hopefully help to minimise the risk of it occurring in the modern day, by encouraging any young players who are targeted to come forward.