Football coach who sexually abused youth players jailed for five-and-a-half years

A football coach who singled out youth players with man of the match awards and then sexually abused them has been jailed for five-and-a-half years, said police.

Sydney Hallworth, 71, would take youngsters from the team in the Clayton area of Manchester to a training complex in nearby Blackley for one-on-one coaching, where he would use the pretext of giving them a sports massage before sexually assaulting them.

Four men separately came forward in the wake of publicity surrounding the Football Association’s ongoing inquiry into child sex abuse and said they were victims of Hallworth in the 1980s.

The defendant, of Ellerthwaite Road, Windermere, Cumbria, denied the accusations on arrest and during subsequent police interviews, said Greater Manchester Police.

Hallworth (pictured) was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Monday after he was earlier convicted by a jury of five counts of indecent assault.

He was ordered to sign the sex offender register for life and will also be subject to a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.

Following sentencing, Detective Constable Joanne Tinsley said: “Hallworth preyed on these young boys’ aspirations in order to separate them from their peers and sexually abuse them.

“Understandably, they were excited to train with older members of the club and be rewarded for their hard work on the field with one-to-one coaching. But the sessions were a cover for Hallworth’s deviancy.

“He engineered a situation where he could be alone with his victims and subject them to sexual abuse.

“He has refused to admit his guilt throughout the court process, forcing his victims to recount their ordeals.

“Their bravery in coming forward to police means a dangerous and calculating sexual predator is now behind bars.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Greater Manchester Police / PA Wire.