Former Ipswich Town player Kieron Dyer says strangers in the street have commended him for revealing childhood sexual abuse
Former Ipswich Town footballer Kieron Dyer says people have commended him in the street for revealing he was sexually abused as a child.
Dyer, 39, who made 94 appearances for Town, revealed the details earlier this month in an interview with The Mail on Sunday, ahead of his autobiography which was serialised by the newspaper and is published today.
Dyer, who won 33 caps for England, will launch his book – Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late – at Portman Road tomorrow and the event will raise funds for Suffolk charity Fresh Start – New Beginnings (FSNB), which has helped almost 1,000 children who have suffered from sexual abuse since it was founded in 2012.
He told BBC Sport: “One man said he had a secret for 45 years and after seeing my story he told his family the next day.
“If that’s the impact I can have, then I’m so happy I came out with it.
“I’ve had about 10 random strangers come up to me on the street and people at Ipswich Town come up to me and say ‘you are very brave because this happened to me and now I’m in a situation where I can talk about it’.”
The player was praised by FSNB for speaking out about the abuse.
David Hockley, the charity’s chief executive, said: “It’s extremely brave of Kieron and it’s obviously taken a number of years before he was able to come forward.
“His abuse experience clearly demonstrates that child abuse has such a far-reaching impact, not only on the direct victim but the whole family: parents, grandparents, and friends.
“He has suffered in silence for many, many years and for whatever reason now he feels that he is supported enough, that he is in the right place in his life, to be able to come forward and speak up.”