BBC Scotland Investigates

Football Abuse: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game

Episode 1 Football Abuse: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game



Viewers in Scotland have already had a chance to see this troubling film. As the Football Association in England and the Scottish FA both undertake enquiries into claims of historic sexual abuse, Mark Daly’s film talks to former players whose childhood football dreams turned to nightmare.

It’s awful to watch brave men now in their 40s blink away tears as they talk, haltingly and with difficulty, about being abused in their teens. “I though it was my fault – I thought I had done something wrong,” says Jon Cleland, who was first raped at the age of 11. Another player, Levi Stephen, looks haunted when asked who he told and says, “How do you tell your mum, though?”


Reporter Mark Daly explores fresh allegations of a cover-up connected to a notorious paedophile scandal that rocked the youth football circuit in Scotland in the past. He also hears accounts from former footballers who talk for the first time about the abuse they allegedly suffered as boys in the sport.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Mark Daly
Current Affairs