Des Comerford says Scunthorpe knew their youth coach was a sex attacker (Photo: NB Press Ltd)
A football fan has spoken of how he bought a directorship at his beloved local club so that he could give a known paedophile the boot.
Des Comerford said Scunthorpe United chiefs knew their youth development coach had a police caution for indecently assaulting an 11-year-old boy in 1989 – but kept him on anyway.
The coach had been able to work with youngsters at three league clubs after he admitted the attack and is still working in the game at an adult team, the Sunday People can reveal.
But Des, 59, claimed he was forced out in 1998 after blowing the whistle on the pervert.
He said: “Several fans were concerned about this man. They knew what he had done. A meeting was arranged but the chairman and a director didn’t want to know or talk about it.”
Local businessman Des spent £26,000 to buy his way on to the board and take action (Photo: NB Press Ltd)
Des, a businessman in the North Lincolnshire town and a lifelong fan of The Iron, spoke out as the number of potential cases in the abuse scandal rocking football hit 639.
He said he discovered the board had discussed the man’s caution and decided he should not be left alone with under-16s.
Des said: “I paid £26,000 to buy 52,000 shares to gain a position on the board, as I wanted to remove him. On my first day, I asked to see the man’s file. To my horror, I found a copy of the Humberside Police caution certificate showing he admitted to indecently assaulting an 11-year-old boy.
“I called the FA and they suspended him but there didn’t seem to be urgency in the club. I asked the board to dismiss him but they refused and said they wanted to wait for the FA inquiry to end. They were fighting to keep him. I was ostracised.”
Des says he was shunned by the club but is pleased he ‘did the right thing’ (Photo: NB Press Ltd)
Des, who later won a High Court case with the League One club, added: “As a result of getting rid of that man I lost my directorship of the club I loved from being a boy. It wasn’t the best of times but I now know I can hold my head high because I did the right thing.”
Police are probing 86 potential abuse suspects linked to 98 clubs . Players who have spoken of their ordeals include ex-England star Paul Stewart.
Des added: “At the heart of this abuse scandal was the failure of clubs and football authorities to act quickly enough to kick individuals out of the game.”
A Scunthorpe United spokesman declined to comment.