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Le Tissier reveals ‘naked massage’ incident

Matt Le Tissier played professionally for Southampton from 1986 to 2002. PHOTO/SKY
Matt Le Tissier played professionally for Southampton from 1986 to 2002. PHOTO/SKY

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 7- Matt Le Tissier has revealed he experienced a “naked massage” incident when he was a young player at Southampton during the 1980s.

Le Tissier joined Saints as a teenager in October 1985, and made his first-team debut aged 17 in August of the following year. He went on to make over 440 league appearances for the club.

Speaking on the day the Football Association widened its inquiry into non-recent sexual abuse in the game, the former England international said what he witnessed and was subjected to as a teenager at Southampton was “disgusting”.

Speaking to the BBC about the massage incident, he said: “Everyone was kind of naked and getting thrown on this bed… and a very quick massage – it was uncomfortable. It’s very, very wrong for a start – looking back on it, you think it is wrong but as a young boy, you thought ‘is this normal?’

“It’s pretty disgusting. What went on is not normal behaviour. When you hear the stories of naked soapy massages, ‘hairy bum’ competitions… you look back at it now and think ‘hang on, what was going on?’

“Obviously boys talk at that age, they take the mickey, and it kind of gets covered up as a bit of banter at that stage. But as you grow into an adult, you look at it and think ‘that’s not right’.”

The Sky Sports pundit, now aged 48, added: “I would like to think the bravery of the boys that have come out will encourage everyone else who experienced those kinds of things.”

Later on Tuesday, Le Tissier tweeted: “For the record, I’ve never felt like I’ve been abused. Still don’t. Please don’t feel sorry for me, I’m all good – just stated what happened.”

Le Tissier’s revelations are the latest in a spiralling child abuse scandal.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed it has become the latest force to launch investigations into fresh allegations of abuse in football, bringing the total number of UK police forces now looking at this area to 21.

With the most recent figures – now a few days old – for the scale of the scandal encompassing 55 different clubs and 350 potential victims, there are growing calls for a much wider public inquiry.

Clive Sheldon QC will now lead the review into allegations of non-recent child sex abuse in football, replacing Kate Gallafent QC, who was appointed by the FA last week, “due to the increased scope of the review”.

Sheldon has previously been involved in several investigatory reviews, including matters of child protection and safeguarding, and specialises in high-profile discrimination claims and disputes involving public figures and senior executives.

-By Sky Sports-