Steve Walters (footballer)
|Date of birth||9 January 1972|
|Place of birth||Plymouth, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Steve Walters (born 9 January 1972) is an English former footballer who played in the Football League for Crewe Alexandra and the Football Conference for Northwich Victoria, Morecambe and Stevenage Borough. He was a midfielder.
Walters began his career with Crewe Alexandra. He made his first team debut at 16 years and 119 days on 7 May 1988 against Peterborough United. His first Crewe goal was scored against Hartlepool United at Gresty Road on 4 March 1989. Through the early part of the 1990s he built up 173 appearances for the club over all competitions, scoring eleven goals, and appeared in the 1993 Football League Third Division play-off Final, which Crewe lost on penalties to York City, though they gained automatic promotion a year later.
He dropped out of league football in 1995 to join Football Conference side Northwich Victoria. After five years with Victoria he signed with Morecambe, where he spent one season. In 2001, Walters moved to Stevenage Borough, and then on to Kidsgrove Athletic.
Child sexual abuse victim
On 16 November 2016, former Crewe defender Andy Woodward revealed that he had been a victim of child sexual abuse by former football coach Barry Bennell (convicted as a paedophile in 1998) at the club in the 1980s. Subsequently, other victims contacted the police, and on 22 November, The Guardian reported that Walters had been another of Bennell's victims. In Manchester on 5 December 2016, Walters was one of five abuse victims at the launch of an organisation, the Offside Trust, to support player victims of abuse and their families. With Woodward (until he resigned on 27 January 2017) and Chris Unsworth, Walters was one of the Trust's directors.
In early 2017, Walters (who now runs a cleaning company) repeatedly bemoaned the lack of support expressed by current professional players to abuse victims, describing it as a "deafening silence" and "shocking and hurtful". It was also reported he had been on a course of counselling at the Priory provided by the Professional Footballers' Association.
- with Crewe Alexandra
- "Crewe Alexandra". Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database. Neil Brown. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Crisp, Marco (1998). Crewe Alexandra Match by Match. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 119. ISBN 1 899468 81 1.
- Crisp, Marco (1998). Crewe Alexandra Match by Match. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 120. ISBN 1 899468 81 1.
- Taylor, Daniel (16 November 2016). "Andy Woodward: 'It was the softer, weaker boys he targeted'". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Taylor, Daniel (21 November 2016). "Six come forward after Andy Woodward's story of abuse at Crewe". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- Taylor, Daniel (22 November 2016). "Second footballer reveals abuse by serial paedophile Barry Bennell". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Second footballer comes forward over abuse at Crewe Alexandra". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Southampton 'abuser' still working in football". BBC News. BBC. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Sex abuse footballers 'want to be free of pain'". BBC News. BBC. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- "Andy Woodward leaves Offside Trust but campaign gains momentum". Eurosport. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- Wheelock, Paul (10 January 2017). "The Offside Trust's fight to eradicate child abuse in sport". Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- Lawrence, Amy (9 February 2017). "Offside Trust: 'We need more modern-day footballers to support us'". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- Wallace, Sam (4 January 2017). "Silence from current players over child sex abuse claims has been deafening, says Steve Walters who hopes they can follow lead of Wolves captain Dave Edwards". Telegraph. Retrieved 5 January 2017.