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'Players were routinely made to strip' - victim of former Norwich City youth coach speaks out

Former youth football coach and scout Michael

Former youth football coach and scout Michael "Kit" Carson. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

A football player who accused ex-Norwich City youth coach Kit Carson of sexual abuse has spoken out after being denied justice when the 75-year-old died in a car crash.

The scene on the A1303 near Bottisham in Cambridgeshire where a red Mazda 3 driven by youth football and scout Michael 'Kit' Carson collided with a tree yesterday morning, killing the 75 year old. Carson had been due to stand trial at Peterborough Crown Court on 12 counts of indecent assault and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe scene on the A1303 near Bottisham in Cambridgeshire where a red Mazda 3 driven by youth football and scout Michael 'Kit' Carson collided with a tree yesterday morning, killing the 75 year old. Carson had been due to stand trial at Peterborough Crown Court on 12 counts of indecent assault and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Michael ‘Kit’ Carson was driving a red Mazda 3 on the A1303 at Bottisham at 9.45am the morning of his trial when it struck a tree.

Despite efforts by emergency services to save him on Monday morning, Mr Carson died at the scene.

Mr Carson was accused of sexual abusing boys under the age of 16 whilst he was a football coach. He was due to stand trial at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday. The trial was expected to last up to eight weeks, has been formally discontinued by Judge Matthew Lowe.

Mr Carson was charged with 12 counts of indecent assault and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Mr Carson had pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The offences were all alleged to have happened between 1978 and 2009.

The first alleged assault occurred in a hotel in the North of England, while the other offences took place in and around Peterborough.

The incitement offence allegedly took place between February 2008 and February 2009 in Cambridge.

Mr Carson showed the victim images of scantily clad women while the victim exercised. Former players had claimed that they were routinely made to strip and then exercise.

Mr Carson would claim to be examining their muscular development. Other complaints include intimately touching; made to swim naked and massage each other with oil.

One former player, who made allegations to the police, told them: “Kit was a gateway to success. You did what you were told.

“If you questioned anything you were unprofessional. He used to say: ‘do you trust me?
“Only on reflection you see it was wrong. I looked up to him as a role model.
“You felt if you complained, if you went to your parents you would be released for being unprofessional.”

Another victim, who was coached by Mr Carson at Cambridge United after joining aged 11, told the BBC trainees would be made to fight each other naked.

“It was all to build character, but it always felt really awkward,” he said.

The former player also said Mr Carson would get into the shower with the boys.

“Afterwards again he would make us massage ourselves - this could take up to an hour, being in the changing room with him, naked, showering and massaging ourselves,” he said.

“Looking back at it now I wish someone did raise the issue,” he added. “I can see how wrong it is but at the time we all just thought it was natural. We never really reported it to our parents.”

“Back in the youth team days I saw players drop out after these tournaments. It killed their football because of this one man.”

Mr Carson had denied the charges.

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