Moment SAS: Who Dares Wins recruit reveals he was sexually abused

Heartbreaking moment SAS: Who Dares Wins recruit breaks down in tears as he reveals he was sexually abused by paedophile football coach Barry Bennell but ‘vehemently denied it’ for 25 years due to ’embarrassment’

  • Jamie Cartwright, 41, from Rugeley, Staffordshire, was abused from age 11 to 13 
  • He left his football career at 21 and kept the abuse secret for more than 20 years 
  • Appeared on SAS: Who Dares Wins and broke down in tears as spoke of abuse 

A contestant on SAS: Who Dares Wins was praised for his ‘courage and strength’ by viewers as he revealed he was sexually abused as a child by paedophile football coach Barry Bennell.

Appearing on last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, an emotional Jamie Cartwright, 41, from Rugeley, Staffordshire, broke down in tears as he explained how he was abused from the age of 11 to 13, causing him to leave his football career at 21.

Jamie, who kept the abuse a secret for more than 20 years, spoke of his football career as a young boy during an interview with instructors Jason Fox and Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham.

‘My mind was too full of other things,’ he said. ‘At 11 I was a pretty good footballer. I was getting a lot of interest, and I ended up playing for my local team. They had a particularly good coach. Unfortunately, the coach turned out to be a prolific paedophile. And for two plus years, I was a victim of that.’ 

He continued: ‘I vehemently denied it due to embarrassment. I did that for 25 years, and it just f***** me up, really.’ 

A contestant on SAS: Who Dares Wins was praised for his ‘courage and strength’ by viewers as he revealed he was sexually abused as a child by paedophile football coach Barry Bennell (pictured) 

The contestant on SAS: Who Dares Wins was inundated with praise from viewers (picturrred) after he revealed he was sexually abused as a child by paedophile football coach Barry Bennell 

Many who tuned in branded the segment of the show a ‘hard watch,’ but praised Jamie’s ‘courage’ and ‘strength’ for speaking out.  

‘That was so hard to watch but his courage & strength is unreal despite the inner turmoil. I have nothing but respect #14,’ wrote one, while a second penned: ‘Hard to watch but what an incredibly brave man to be able to deal with what he was subjected to & prevail.’ 

Jamie went on to say how his coach was named in the press 25 years later, making reference to the infamous football sexual abuse scandal that came about in 2016. 

The contestant recalled: ‘Another victim went to the national press. We had the same abuser. I tweeted him and said: “Good on your for being brave”. 

‘And he remembered me. I had a 10 minute conversation. It was the first time I spoke to anyone who understands it. I thought, “If you’ve got the strength to go on national TV, I have to go ahead and stand with the rest of the boys who came out.” So I did.’ 

Jamie Cartwright, 41, from Rugeley, Staffordshire, broke down in tears as he explained how he was abused from the age of 11 to 13, causing him to leave his football career at 21 (pictured)

Jamie, who kept the abuse a secret for more than 20 years, broke down in tears (pictured) as he spoke of his football career as a young boy during an interview with instructors Jason Fox and Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham

Many who tuned in branded the segment of the show a ‘hard watch,’ but praised Jamie’s ‘courage’ and ‘strength’ for speaking out (pictured)

The instructors were quick to commend Jamie for his bravery in speaking out, with Billy saying on the show: ‘What you’ve gone through, to come on there and do what you’re doing, everybody’s going to be proud of you.’ 

Jason added: ‘I don’t see a victim. I see someone that’s extremely brave. What you’ve done takes courage.’ 

Following the interview, Jamie said: ‘There are days that I wake up and it’s a challenge. It ingrains itself in everything. 

‘I just wish I had had the strength of character to raise my hand and been the one that actually got him arrested. For somebody else had that strength and did it and saved the rest of us.’ 

One person who tuned in commented: ‘Jamie’s story was so moving, what a courageous, brave guy, let this be a pivotal lesson to rise like a phoenix out of a horrific situation and come out the other end STRONG and resilient, heartbreaking we applaud you.’

A second wrote: ‘Number 14 so brave speaking about abuse which will inspire others to speak out,’ while a third added: ‘That was a hard watch….What a strong man.’

The father-of-one previously said that appearing on the show was a chance to ‘exorcise demons’ 

Meanwhile, a fourth penned: ‘#14 now that’s real bravery and courage: strength of mind will see Jamie do well on this course. Still such a stigma for men to talk about sexual abuse. Well done Jamie.’  

A fifth commented: ‘No. 14 wishing he had been the one who got the pedophile arrested.

‘No.14 you need to realise that what YOU have done on national TV is an inspiration & Will save so many more people who feel like a victim #Bravery.’ 

The father-of-one previously said that appearing on the show was a chance to ‘exorcise demons’. 

Bennell, 67, is currently serving a 34-year jail term after he was convicted on five separate occasions – four in the UK and one in the USA – of sexual offences against young boys. 

In October 2020, he was sentenced to his fifth jail term – four years in prison for nine sexual offences against two boys.

The former Crewe Alexandra coach had pleaded guilty to three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault at an earlier hearing in July. 

Decades of abuse before he was finally brought to justice: Timeline of the Barry Bennell case 

Early 1970s: Starts his coaching career aged about 18 at renowned London-based junior club Senrab FC, Bennell told police. 

Mid to late 1970s: Coaches at Butlin’s holiday camp in Pwllheli, North Wales, and also begins working with Manchester youth team Whitehill FC, he also tells detectives.

November 1979 to July 1981: Employed as a resident social worker at the now closed Taxal Edge children’s home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.

1982 to 1985: Coaches youth teams in Derbyshire which provided several youth recruits for Manchester City.

1985 to 1992: Bennell is employed by or on behalf of Crewe Alexandra apart from a spell coaching in Georgia, United States, in 1989 and 1990.

1990: Marries Linda Woodward, sister of one of his abuse victims, Andy Woodward. The couple go on to have two children.

1992 to 1994: Bennell is employed by or on behalf of Stoke City. 

1994: He is arrested while on a 10-week tour of the United States when coaching a Staffordshire youth team.

1995: He is convicted in Florida of four counts of indecent assault on a young boy and sentenced to four years in jail. Spends time in custody prior to his conviction. His victim was also abused by Bennell in Britain, which leads to a domestic investigation.

January 1997: Bennell is featured in the Channel 4 documentary series Dispatches. Former youth player Ian Ackley waives his anonymity and tells the Soccer’s Foul Play programme he was sexually abused by Bennell.

September 1997: US authorities deport Bennell to the UK at the conclusion of his sentence and on his arrival he is charged with sexual offences relating to a number of complainants.

June 1998: He pleads guilty at Chester Crown Court on the first day of his scheduled trial to 23 counts of sexual abuse relating to 15 complainants, aged from nine to 14, between 1978 and 1992. Victims include Mr Ackley and Mr Woodward. Twenty-two alleged offences are left to lie on file. He is sentenced to nine years in prison.

May 2015: Bennell pleads guilty at the same court on the first day of his scheduled trial to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in 1980. He is jailed for two years. His victim did not come forward in 1997 because of the effect he said it would have on his mother. When she died in 2013 he contacted police. The court hears he was abused at Bennell’s living quarters at Taxal Edge while staying with him as he took part in coaching sessions in Macclesfield.

November 2016: Mr Woodward waives his anonymity to give emotional, powerful interviews to the Guardian and BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. It leads to a number of complainants against Bennell contacting police and a fresh investigation begins.

January 2018: Bennell goes on trial at Liverpool Crown Court accused of 48 historical child sex offences against 11 complainants between 1979 and 1990.

February 2018: Bennell is jailed for 30 years at Liverpool Crown Court after being convicted of 52 child sexual offences against 12 boys in 2018.

July 2020: Bennell admits nine more sex offences – three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault in relation to two complainants between 1979 and 1988 who were aged between 11 and 14 at the time.

Today: Bennell is sentenced at Chester Crown Court to four years in prison, in addition to the 30-year sentence he is already serving, for nine sexual offences against two boys.

He was already serving a 30-year sentence in HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire after being convicted of 52 child sexual offences in 2018.

The court heard Bennell had a detached retina after being attacked in prison and was in remission from cancer. Four of his victims were in court for the sentencing.

Judge Patrick Thompson said the sentence would be served consecutively to his current prison term, meaning a total sentence of 34 years in custody.

But the court also heard it would be the final prosecution against Bennell, who will not leave prison until he is at least in his 80s. 

More than 100 victims are believed to have come forward to allege they were abused by the paedophile.

Bennell, who used to work as a scout for Manchester United and is also known as Richard Jones, was also sentenced to an additional two years on licence. 

He worked as a youth football coach in Cheshire, Manchester and Derbyshire in the late 1970s and into the 1990s.  

Bennell was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in America, before going on to face prison sentences in Britain in 1998, 2015 and in 2018.  

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