Andy Woodward believes football’s sexual abuse revelations are 'potentially worse’ than the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Former footballer Woodward bravely revealed he suffered years of sexual abuse from one his coaches, Barry Bennell, at Crewe Alexandra.
Bennell, 62, was jailed for nine years in 1998 for sex offences against boys.
Bennell was also sent to prison for two years in 2015 for a historic sex offence against a boy, aged 12, on a football course.
Woodward appeared on Good Morning Britain this morning - as former England ace Paul Stewart broke his silence in the Daily Mirror, revealing he was also sexually abused by a youth coach.
It echoes the Jimmy Savile scandal where it emerged after the BBC presenter's death that he had sexually abused hundreds of victims, many when they were children.
When Piers Morgan asked if this could be the 'Jimmy Savile [case] in football', Woodward said: “It's potentially worse than that.
"My heart goes out to all the ex footballers and those footballers that haven't made it.
"I had a horrendous sad story last night, they say 6 [people have come forward], [others are] coming to me direct because they are worried about going to the police and I understand why, it's very difficult.”
The FA are now working with NSPCC children’s charity to set up a helpline to encourage other sex abuse victims to come forward.
And speaking on his reason for speaking out, Woodward added: “I think the main reason I had to do this was because I've gone through hell, I've gone through problems with my relationships, my poor ex wives have suffered, my children have suffered, they haven't had the dad that they should, I've had nervous breakdowns.
"It got to the point now where I've had the therapy now that I felt strong enough, and it's always been in my stomach, I knew what went on at the time, I knew how many victims have been involved in this.”
Detective inspector Sarah Hall of Cheshire Police Protection Unit said: "As of today, Wednesday 23 November, We have now been made aware of a number of people who have come forward wishing to speak to the police.
"At this stage we are in the process of making contact with them, and to date no arrests have been made and no on else is under investigation.
"Cheshire Constabulary takes all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and has specialist trained officers to provide advice and support.
"We urge anyone who has been a victim, no matter how long ago the incident took place, to contact police on 101."
Woodward’s story prompted former England, Spurs and Liverpool ace Paul Stewart to open up to the Daily Mirror about his own harrowing experiences – in the hope more victims will come forward.
Stewart, 52, said a pervert youth coach attacked him from age 11 to 15 after pledging to “make him a star”.
For more than 40 years, Stewart kept the trauma of his horrific child sex abuse ordeal at the hands of a coach bottled up from everyone, including his family.
Paul claims he was assaulted every day for four years and that his tormentor got away with it because he threatened to kill his relatives if he ever told anyone.
He claimed: “One day, travelling in the car, he started to touch me. It frightened me to death, did not know what to do, I tried to tell my parents not to let him in but I was only 11.
"From then, it progressed to sexually abusing me, he said he would kill my mother, my father, my two brothers if I breathed a word about it. And at 11 years old, you believe that."
“He would say, ‘Does anyone want to drive the car?’ I sat with a leg on one side by the steering wheel. That is when he first touched me.”
The trainer, who cannot be named, would also take him to football tournaments, giving him another chance to prey on him.
Paul’s brothers were on the trips away. Breaking down in tears, the former striker and midfielder claims: “He abused me there and told me he would kill them if I told anybody."
“We went away for another tournament. He abused me there too. I could never tell my team-mates.
"I was always under threat, if I was not playing well, he would threaten me with violence as well as sexual abuse. He was a monster.
“My brothers are older than me, but he would offer to take them as he wanted to abuse me while we were there. That is how he did what he did, it was all a front.
“I still went out and played. After a while, that became an escape from him, a total relief for 90 minutes.”
Paul claims the coach even told him about the abuse by Bennell, who was jailed in 1998 and again last year for sexual abuse, in a bid to persuade him it happened everywhere.
He adds: “He told me Barry was doing it to kids on a team we played. I think I was 12 or 13, he was trying to infer it was normal.
"I have never met Andy Woodward, but I read the Daily Mirror at work and when I saw it, it was like reading my own life story.
“It brought a lot of issues up for me, and wanted people to know how difficult it was to come forward.
“It stirred up a lot of my past which I thought I had buried.”
Gary Lineker, who played in the same Tottenham team as Stewart, led the tributes.
He said: "Wish my former Spurs teammate, Paul Stewart all the very best. Extremely courageous in telling his appalling story".
Sue Ravenlaw, head of equality and safeguarding at the Football Association, said she applauded Woodward's courage after he spoke out.
She added that the FA takes all matters of safeguarding and child protection seriously and encouraged anyone who may have experienced or is experiencing abuse in football to contact the NSPCC or Childline.