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The sexual abuse scandal that has rocked English football has links to Thailand, according to reports in the British press.
Former Leeds United and Hull City player Jamie Forrester, who established a successful career in the lower leagues, said he witnessed pedophile football coach Frank Roper rape an 11 year old Thai boy during a tour of the Far East.
Forrester, now 42, told the Sunday People how Roper took him and other boys on an all expenses 5 day football tour of Thailand.
“One night during the trip we went out to watch Thai boxing, Forrester said.
“Roper had a young Thai boy, about 11 or 12, the same age as us, sitting on his knee.
“I can remember thinking at the time, ‘What’s going on?’ but I was only 11, I didn’t feel like I could say anything.
“The Thai boy came back with us to our hotel and because we were all staying in the same room he came in to the room and we all got into bed.
“The lights went out and the next thing Roper started molesting the Thai boy and then began having sex with him in the bed next to us.”
“I was in the bed next to him and it happening two yards away. He was clearly having sex.
“It was terrifying and I felt like it was all completely out of my control. I was very scared.
“Me and the other boys all lay in absolute silence. There was no way any of us could have done or said anything.
“I felt like I had to pretend I wasn’t there and it was like we were frozen statues. In the morning he was still laid there in bed with Roper.”
Forrester claims that Roper was at the centre of a pedophile ring that preyed on young footballers.
“Roper used to talk very often about another man and his junior team”, Forrester said.
“He would say things like, ‘You think you’re good? They’re better than you, they’ll kick your a***’. He was always talking about this guy, who I know now was a notorious paedophile.
“A match was arranged between the two teams. I played in the match with others who went on to be professional.
“Shortly afterwards the other man made contact with my parents to invite me to his house for the weekend.
“Thankfully my parents declined because of rumours about him”.
Roper, who died in 2005, has been named at the centre of the abuse scandal.
A well known football coach and scout, Roper operated throughout the North West of England and ran Nova FC, a junior football team in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
He had close links to a number of professional football clubs and would often arrange overseas tours for his junior football teams.
Rumours of Roper’s vile behaviour were widespread, earning him the nickname of “Roper the Groper”, although he was never officially charged with any offence related to sexual abuse.
In the 1980s he left his native Stockport and is believed to have fled to Thailand after he became the subject of an investigation by authorities who probed his tax affairs.
He later returned to the UK where he spent his final years in a hospice suffering from prostate cancer. He died in September 2005, aged 69.
Last week, former England, Liverpool and Manchester City star Paul Stewart revealed how Roper sexually abused him every day for four years between the ages of 11 and 15.
Meanwhile, British police say they have now received almost 1,000 calls and that 350 people have approached police forces in the UK with allegations of child abuse at football clubs.
Some of the clubs connected to the abuse claims include Chelsea, Manchester City, Stoke City, Crewe Alexandra, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Blackpool.
Officials have said that every report will be investigated, despite some dating back decades.
The unfolding scandal comes just two years after revelations about child abuse involving some of Britain’s most prominent TV personalities, namely Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall.