More police forces investigating football-linked 'child sex abuse'
More than a quarter of UK police forces are probing allegations of historical child sex abuse in football.
Avon and Somerset, Essex and Norfolk Police are the latest to confirm they are investigating claims, bringing the current tally to 14.
North Yorkshire, Dorset, Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, North Wales, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cheshire, Northumbria, Scotland Yard and Police Scotland have also launched inquiries.
So far police have received 250 reports and more than 50 calls were made to an NSPCC hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in football in the initial hours of opening.
A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police said following "recent extensive media coverage about allegations of non-recent sexual abuse in football" they have received calls from members of the public who have provided information.
"All information received will be thoroughly investigated," she added.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police confirmed they are "investigating an allegation relating to child abuse within football", but said they are in the "early stages" and "cannot comment further".
Chief Constable Simon Bailey added: "We are aware that the NSPCC and some police forces have received a number of calls alleging non recent child abuse within football clubs.
"Through Operation Hydrant we will work closely with the NSPCC and the Football Association to coordinate the police response to these reports."
As the Football Association (FA) begins an internal review Essex Police said it has also "received information relating to allegations of non-recent child abuse within the football community" and will investigate accordingly.
"We need those who have been the victim of child sexual abuse to report it to the police. We will listen, take the allegations seriously and a thorough investigation will be launched no matter how long ago the abuse may have taken place," a spokeswoman added.
More than 20 former players have now spoken out about alleged abuse, including former Newcastle United footballer Derek Bell, who waived his anonymity to BBC 5 Live.
He said he was sexually assaulted when he played for a local boys' club in the 1970s, and, after seeing his abuser again more than 20 years after the offences, decided to try to kill him.
"I went to his house with a 12-inch knife hidden in my pocket, and I kicked his door in," Mr Bell told Emma Barnett on the show. "Luckily for him, that evening, he wasn't in.
"I told my friends at that point because I'd kept it a secret for a lot of years. I went and told my close friends, who've been absolutely incredibly supportive, and told them what had happened to me, and they said 'Right, let's do something about it', but I said 'No, I'll do something about it'."
Changing his mind about his course of action, he said he headed back to the man's house a couple of days later with a recording device in his pocket to ask him why and what his motivation was.
Mr Bell said: "And not one time did he say he was sorry." His abuser was eventually jailed after Mr Bell took the tape to the police.
The national child abuse inquiry headed by Professor Alexis Jay is considering whether to investigate abuse in football as part of its overarching probe, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told MPs.
And ministers are writing to all national sporting bodies to ask them to ''redouble their efforts'' to protect children in the wake of the scandal.
A number of football clubs have become embroiled in the scandal - Chelsea have announced they have retained a law firm to carry out an investigation concerning one of the club's 1970s employees, who is now dead.
The FA has commissioned a "dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry" which can be contacted at all hours on 0800 023 2642.
Chairman of the Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee Damian Collins told the BBC: "If we look at the things that we have discovered over the last few days - so, the suggestion that Chelsea Football Club may have paid someone to keep quiet who was a victim of abuse. Allegations that the FA was made aware of problems at multiple clubs in the past.
"What we have discovered today that the FA cancelled a programme looking at child protection it was funding within football for no apparent reason.
"So, all of these build a picture which is not very good for football. Which suggests that people did know that there was a problem, and they could have, and should have, done more years ago.
"And if they had have done, maybe some of the victims of abuse would have been protected, better protected. One of the lessons we have to draw today is that unless we can fully understand what went wrong, what the culture was that allowed these crimes to be committed, how can we be certain that people are safe today?"