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40: Football’s Darkest Secret with Gary Cliffe and Steve Walters

by | May 26, 2021

Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling
Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling
40: Football's Darkest Secret with Gary Cliffe and Steve Walters

I met both Steve and Gary a few years ago over on Twitter and have been so touched by their courage in breaking their silence to help others come forward too.

 This episode is very close to my heart as I really believe that if they hadn’t heard Andy Woodward speaking out on the Victoria Derbyshire show, then they may not have found their voice

 It confirms how powerful it is to hear someone sharing their story and the courage it can give to others to find their own voice to share their story too

 Steve Walters is an ex professional footballer – Crewe Alexandra, director of Offside Trust, football survivor, business owner and family man .

 Gary Cliffe was a youth Footballer for Manchester City and  survivor of Barry Bennell. in 2018, along with 12 other survivors, Bennell was found guilty of numerous counts of serious sexual abuse of children.

 Gary helped to secure 8 counts of serious abuse convictions against Bennell.
 He is currently a senior ambassador to the Offside Trust, Advisor to the FA survivor and safeguarding group.

He has been Detective Constable and has twenty years’ service with Staffordshire Police and his current role in Child Protection and Exploitation Team.

 Some key points from this episode:

·        How when they both look back, they realised how groomed they were

·        How that over time they have learned to live with what happened to them

·        How speaking out has unburdened them both

·        How they both understand now that the guilt and shame is not theirs to carry

·        How they are grateful to others for speaking out

·        How they started The Offside Trust to support other survivors and raise awareness

·        How they recognised they couldn’t deal with the impact of the abuse by themselves

"The hurt is not ours to carry" – Gary Cliffe
"Turn a massive negative into a huge positive" – Steve Walters 

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"Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling" features  individuals who have all triumphed after adversity and have not just bounced back in life, but forward and are now making a difference for others.

Hosted by Madeleine Black, the show will share stories of all the amazing people Madeleine has met on her own journey as an author/speaker and these stories will heal, motivate, inspire and bring hope when they share their wisdom and knowledge with her.

She really believes in the power that comes when we share our stories, that in fact we are not story tellers but story healers. Tune in to discover what helped them to stay unbroken and together we will discover that none of us are broken beyond repair.

You can find out more about Madeleine, her story and her memoir, Unbroken,  from her website: https://madeleineblack.co.uk/
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