Paedophile football coach Bennell in hospital

Former Crew Alexandra coach Barry Bennell was treated by paramedics on Friday before being taken to hospital

Former Crew Alexandra coach Barry Bennell was treated by paramedics on Friday before being taken to hospital

The paedophile at the centre of football's child sex abuse scandal has been taken to hospital after being found unconscious.

Barry Bennell, a former Crewe Alexandra coach, was treated by paramedics on Friday night following what police called a "fear for welfare" incident.

Bennell, who was given a nine-year jail term in 1998 after being convicted of a string of sex offences against young boys, has been cast into the public spotlight once again after one of his victims spoke out.

A Thames Valley Police statement said: "Police officers attended an address in Knebworth Park, Stevenage, just before 11pm on Friday November 25 in connection with a fear for welfare incident.

"A 62-year-old man was located and was taken to hospital in order to receive medical treatment, where he remains.

"At this stage of enquiries, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service said: "We received a call on Friday at 10.50pm to reports of an unconscious man on Knebworth Park in Stevenage to which we sent an ambulance crew to.

"The crew arrived within eight minutes to treat the man ... before taking him to Lister Hospital for further care."

A spokesman for Novotel Stevenage, which is in the country park, declined to comment and police refused to give further details.

Andy Woodward became the first to speak out last week about abuse he suffered at the hands of Bennell.

The coach, who worked for Crewe, Manchester City, Stoke and junior teams in north-west England and the Midlands, abused young boys from the 1970s onwards.

He was jailed for four years for raping a British boy on a 1994 football tour of Florida, and then, aged 44, was given a nine-year sentence for 23 offences against six boys in England in 1998.

He was jailed for a third time in 2015 after admitting abusing a boy at a 1980 football camp in Macclesfield.

Those to have made allegations against Bennell include former Manchester City star David White and youth player Jason Dunford, plus ex-Crewe player Steve Walters and youngster Chris Unsworth.