Barry Bennell ‘promised’ City youth development role, judge told

But Ray Hinett told Mr Justice Johnson that a City coach had threatened to leave the club if Bennell, who is serving a jail term, got the job.

He said “as a result” the job was given to someone else.

Mr Hinett, 80, of Sandbach, Cheshire was giving evidence at a High Court trial in London, being overseen by Mr Justice Johnson, on Tuesday.

Eight men, now in their 40s and 50s, have made damages claims against Manchester City and say Bennell abused them when they were playing football in the north-west of England more than 30 years ago.

They say Bennell was operating as a Manchester City scout and want damages from the club.

A business card given out by Barry Bennell in which he described himself as Manchester City’s ‘north-west representative’ (PA) / PA Media

The judge has heard that the eight men were sexually and emotionally abused by Bennell between 1979 and 1985 and are claiming damages after suffering psychiatric injuries.

Six are also claiming damages for loss of potential football earnings.

Manchester City dispute claims made by the men.

Bosses say Bennell had been a local scout in the mid-1970s but was not a scout between 1979 and 1985.

Mr Hinett told the judge, in a written witness statement, that he and Bennell had been among five City scouts in the Manchester area.

He told the hearing that he had a “scout card” said he was aware that “Bennell had one as well”.

Mr Hinett said in around 1979, Bennell had “left for about two years” before “coming back”.

“Bennell had been promised the youth development officer role at Manchester City but Steve Fleet, the youth coach at Manchester City, had complained about Bennell getting the job,” said Mr Hinett.

“I understood that Steve Fleet had threatened that if Bennell got the job, he would leave.

“Steve never told me why he felt this way but as a result of this, the job was given to Ted Davies instead.”

Mr Hinett said Ken Barnes, then City’s chief scout, told him that Bennell was “coming back” and that he “would like him to train the feeder teams again”.

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