Southampton to publish review of historic abuse at club this week

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 (Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)
(Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)

Southampton have confirmed that they will publish the independent review of abuse by their former coach Bob Higgins this week.

Two years ago the club commissioned children's charity Barnardo's to conduct a review, which has now been concluded and will be made public on Friday morning.

Higgins was jailed for 24 years in 2019 for abusing trainees in his care, predominantly at Southampton and Peterborough, between 1971 and 1996.

Higgins, who was found to have abused 24 boys across the 25-year period, coached the likes of Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier, with the latter saying in 2016 that he was not abused but was once given a "very, very wrong" massage.

Following Higgins's conviction, the club offered an unreserved apology to all the victims and survivors of the abuse.

The Sheldon Review of historic abuse within football, which was published earlier this year, criticised Southampton for failing to act on warnings about Higgins' behaviour.

Sheldon also found they were slow to report an allegation of abuse to the police or to carry out further inquiries at the time to establish if other boys may have been victims.

Bob Higgins interviewed by Hampshire Constabulary (Hampshire Constabulary/PA)
Bob Higgins interviewed by Hampshire Constabulary (Hampshire Constabulary/PA)

Southampton have said victims and survivors will have time to "fully digest" the conclusions of the review and will receive an advanced copy within the next 24 hours.

In a statement, the south coast club added: "With that in mind, the club intends to publish the full review at 10am on Friday 26th November. The club’s response to the review will also be published at this time."

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