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Kieron Dyer reveals he was sexually abused as a boy by great uncle

PUBLISHED: 07:17 11 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 12 February 2018

Kieron Dyer outside Portman Road football stadium. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Kieron Dyer outside Portman Road football stadium. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Archant

Former Ipswich Town footballer Kieron Dyer has revealed details of sexual abuse he suffered as a boy.

Ipswich-born Dyer, 39, who made 94 appearances for his home town club between 1996 and 1999 and during a loan spell in 2011, revealed the details in an interview with The Mail on Sunday today, ahead of his autobiography which is being serialised by the newspaper and will be published at the end of the month.

A Suffolk charity has praised Dyer for his “extremely brave” decision to make public the abuse he suffered.

David Hockley, chief executive of Suffolk charity Fresh Start  New Beginnings (FSNB). Picture: GREGG BROWNDavid Hockley, chief executive of Suffolk charity Fresh Start  New Beginnings (FSNB). Picture: GREGG BROWN

He told the newspaper that he was staying at his grandmother’s home in Ipswich when, aged either 11 or 12, he was attacked by her brother, his great-uncle Kenny, one evening when they were alone.

He said: “This particular Friday night, Kenny was wearing jeans and I fell asleep on his lap while I was watching TV. Then I woke up. I woke up but I was scared to open my eyes. Kenny had slipped his hand down my trousers while I was asleep and he was fondling me. I froze. I was petrified. I didn’t know what to do.”

Dyer told The Mail on Sunday that he thought Kenny must have sensed that he had woken up because he tried to keep him quiet and reassure him.

“He kept asking me to let him finish what he was doing. It was like he was in a trance,” he said.

Kenny told Dyer that he would buy him loads of chocolate before pulling his trousers down to his ankles. Dyer said: “I knew he was doing something terribly wrong but I was frozen. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything.

“Then he bent his head down into my lap. I managed to push him away. I pulled my trousers back up. He said, ‘Don’t tell anyone, this is our secret.’”

Dyer went into the hallway and called his mother, who worked the late shift on Friday nights at Tooks Bakery on Old Norwich Road. She picked up and he heard her voice. Dyer then recalls Kenny emerging out of the lounge, staring at him, and raising his finger to his lips. Dyer hung up. He told the newspaper that Kenny never did it again “but it wasn’t for the want of trying”.

Kenny died when Dyer was 21. By that time, he had signed for Newcastle United for £6million.

Dyer says he is now at peace and wants to encourage other abused children to come forward for help.

His autobiography, ‘Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late,’ which is being serialised in the Daily Mail starting on Monday, is published at the end of the month. Dyer has organised a launch party at Portman Road in aid of sexual abuse charity Fresh Start, New Beginnings.

In 2011, Dyer finally had counselling. He told the newspaper: “I thought my stubbornness, not letting people in, going through mood swings… I thought that was who I was. I didn’t realise it was the abuse that formed the person I became.”

Kieron Dyer’s autobiography will shock many – inside and outside football.

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The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

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