“I was always good at Sports. I loved them all, whatever it was, I’d be first picked for the team.  It was the best part of school but turned out the worst part of my life.

At eleven I was moved into the senior team at school. Not that big for my age but fast and skillful.  Tipped for big things: I played centre half “like no one in the County”, that’s what my coach would tell my parents anyway, calling to my house regularly giving them all this positive feedback. He would “take me under his wing”. Sure he was like a hero in the town.

It was during the extra coaching when it started, often after training when the other lads who head home. I was only twelve now, my childhood was over.

Over the next two years, a young boy full of life was slowly and determinately destroyed by a coach who was supposed to be there to support him. And he was “a great man,” they all said.

I have spent the rest of my life trying to cope with what happened. It’s the Trauma I suppose. I struggled with work, my relationships, and sometimes just the ordinary stuff of getting out of bed.

I needed to do something. I needed to start talking, tell someone who would understand.

50 years later I have taken back my life. You see things changed when I went to One in Four. They’re good people; they never gave up on me.

I learned that the power my coach had over me didn’t need to control me forever.

It’s never too late to ask for help. You might forgive, you might not forget but you can work through it, free yourself.  I am not running away from what happened anymore, I am healing and liberating myself from my past.”

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