Youth coach Kit Carson abused boys while at Norwich City, victims allege
PUBLISHED: 11:21 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 April 2019
Cambridge News/BPM Media
A football coach who was in a fatal car crash the day his trial for historic sex crimes began was accused of carrying out abuse during his time at Norwich City, we can reveal today.
Michael ‘Kit’ Carson also got access to youth football teams abroad, despite being barred by the Football Association (FA), an investigation has found.
The FA revoked the licence of Carson in 2009 when a safeguarding complaint was made about him while coaching at Histon FC in Cambridgeshire.
There was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime, but more than 60 complaints, including several about his time at Norwich City in the 1980s, were made to police from 2016 onwards.
He was due to stand trial on 13 charges of abuse at Peterborough Crown Court on January 7, but his red Mazda crashed into a tree at Bottisham on the morning it was due to start.
Carson, 75, left Histon in 2009 but the FA ban did not stop his involvement in tournaments and holiday camps for youth teams in Finland and Denmark which English clubs also attended.
Photos, which were on the website of an academy in Lincolnshire called Pro-Touch, show Carson as a “football consultant” at a summer tournament in Denmark in 2011 and a football school in Finland.
In one photo he poses with a youth team despite his FA ban.
He set up soccer schools in Finland in 2006 and continued to run them up to at least 2012.
The Finnish club has not responded to our questions, while the site of Pro-Touch Academy has been taken down.
Meanwhile, the organiser of the Danish tournament, called the Norhalne Cup, said they had no idea Carson had been barred by the FA when they made him the English and Irish representative of the international youth competition from 2011 to 2014.
Per Jeppesen said: “None of us had any suspicion or any complaints about Kit Carson.”
The FA refused to comment.
The charges Carson was due to face dated from 1978 to 2009 and were mainly from his time in Peterborough and Cambridge.
None of the charges are from when Carson was a youth coach at Norwich City from 1983 to 1993.
But police have now confirmed some of the allegations they received where from when he worked at Norwich.
Norfolk police said seven complaints were made to them about him from 2016 onwards.
The allegations, which date from 1986 and 1987, would have been used as part of the prosecution case in court, but prosecutors refused to give more details.
One former City player, who remembered Carson from the 1980s, said: “The allegations are absolutely shocking. It is shameful and despicable.”
A former coach, who was at City the same time as Carson, said Carson was brought in to establish a tournament in Great Yarmouth called the Canary Cup from which young talent would then be scouted for the Canaries.
He added he was not aware of any suggestion at the time that Carson was carrying out abuse.
A Norwich City spokesman said: “We were asked in 2016/17 to supply some factual information about Kit Carson as part of the nationwide Independent Review into Allegations of Historic Child Sex Abuse in Football, commissioned by the Football Association and involving all EFL member clubs. We of course complied fully with this request.”
The spokesman added the club had never been asked by police for information about Carson.
The dad of one former youth player at Histon FC, meanwhile, who has researched football abuse, alleged in court documents this year there was “organised, widespread and long-running sexual abuse of children” by Carson and others in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
The dad has filed documents at the High Court calling for a judicial review into how authorities handled abuse allegations in football.
One of the 11 men due to give evidence at Carson’s trial told the Sunday Times earlier this year that Carson was part of a wider paedophile ring which included Barry Bennell.
Former youth coach Bennell was jailed for 31 years in 2018 for 50 counts of child abuse.
Police also received another allegation in 2016 about historic abuse in Norfolk football, unrelated to Carson, but decided to take no further action, after what they said was a “full investigation”.
Cambridgeshire Police, meanwhile, said they had received five complaints about abuse in football since 2016, while they had 63 about Carson.
•What was Carson accused of?
Before his car hit a tree on the A1303 at Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, Carson was due to face 13 charges from allegations made by 11 footballers.
The first two indecent assaults are alleged to have taken place between September 1978 and September 1980.
A further eight took place in or around Peterborough, while the last happened between February 2008 and February 2009 in Cambridge.
A former player at Cambridge United alleged Carson would get in the shower with the boys and tell them to massage themselves.
Another said at Peterborough United training sessions in the 1990s the boys would be made to strip to “check” their development. In the last charge from 2009, he allegedly made a boy exercise naked while showing him a magazine of women wearing little clothing.
The boys were aged from 13 to 16.
•Carson at Norwich
Carson joined Norwich as a youth manager in 1983, working with children aged from nine to 16 and bringing through the likes of Premier League stars Chris Sutton and Ruel Fox.
His main role as “junior football manager” was to organise the Canary Cup in Great Yarmouth each year.
It attracted 250 youth teams from home and abroad.
He moved to Peterborough in 1993 after falling out with Norwich City’s management.
He said at the time he felt forced out after being ignored about decisions over the future of young players.
In 2001, he left Peterborough and became head of youth development at Cambridge United, leaving in 2006 to join Histon FC where he remained until being barred in 2009.
He also built strong links to Scandinavia and was the UK and Ireland representative of an annual competition in Denmark.
He continued in that role despite being barred by the FA.
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