Eric Bristow, a five-time darts world champion, caused outrage on Twitter with a string of offensive posts relating to the several cases of child sex abuse in football that have recently come to light.
Former Manchester City winger David White and ex-Crewe Alexandra players Andy Woodward and Steve Walters have accused former Crewe employee Barry Bennell of abusing them when they were young footballers.
Paul Stewart has also told of how he suffered abuse at the hands of an unnamed coach as a young player, with the ex-England international revealing his abuser used Bennell’s crimes in an attempt to legitimise the incidents.
Bennell was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1998 after he admitted sexual offences against six boys and the 62-year-old has since been handed a further two sentences for charges relating to child abuse.
The victims have been widely praised for their bravery in waiving their anonymity and making their cases public, but Bristow prompted angry responses from dozens of people on Twitter during a hugely insensitive series of posts on Monday.
Bristow, 59, suggested the victims should have taken to physical violence later in their lives to get revenge on their abusers, while his use of offensive terminology provoked further outrage.
“Dart players tough guys footballers wimps,” he posted. “Bet the rugby boys are ok ha ha. U got to sought [sic] him out when u get older or dont look in the mirror glad i am a dart player proper men.
“Trouble is nowadays u cant tell the truth what do u feel out there tweet me. Everybody that works on tv is frightened to say the truth because they are frightened to lose their job, life shouldnt be like that.
“What i was saying was when the football lads got older and fitter they should have went back and sorted him out.
“U people replying don’t twist what i sent out, i tell the truth if u dont like it tough. No i am not i am saying they should have got their own back, the way i was brought up that’s what we done.”
Former England hooker Brian Moore, himself a victim of sex abuse as a child, was scathing on Twitter when alerted to Bristow’s remarks.
“I’m not even going to address the many reasons these tweets are wrong,” he said.
“I’ll just say ignorance is no excuse for this idiocy.”
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