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Tragically, stories of child abuse are far too common and often end in tragic circumstances.
On the 5th January 2019, Billy, 47 was taken from us in a road traffic accident, leaving our family and many of his friends devastated. Billy’s story is not unique, a promising footballer with a bright future living the dream of most young boys, on the journey to becoming a professional footballer – this ended at the age of 12 years when the systematic abuse by a football coach began.
Following many years of abuse, Billy’s dream ended and his life then became about surviving. As a family, we couldn’t understand what had gone wrong, why was our Billy wasting his talent. What we didn’t understand at that time, was that Billy was suffering in silence, ashamed of what had happened – if only he was able to share his experience, understand that it was not his fault, his life could have been so different.
In 2017 Billy took the incredibly brave and unthinkable step for many, and started to share and tell his story, we were so proud of him. Billy became an ambassador for the ‘Offside Trust Charity’ and was involved with the ‘Save Association’ these amazing charities are dedicated to end child abuse in football, their mission to positively influence safeguarding and victim engagement in sport, allowing children to enjoy sport in a safe and supported environment.
Billy referred to those who he worked with, those who had suffered as he had, as ‘The Band of Brothers’ The comfort and strength he took from each one of his brothers allowed him to take the fight to the abusers – our family will be eternally grateful for the support he received and will now carry on the fight with them.
Should you wish to support Billy, we kindly ask in place of flowers at the funeral, any donations are made to the above charities. We hope that the memory of Billy will live on through these charities and we are able to continue what he started.
Billy, always in our hearts and never forgotten xxxx
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Feb 15, 2019
Rest in peace Billy, gone but never forgotten xx
Feb 13, 2019
Will miss you Billy, you were such a great person to be around. Lots and lots of love to all the family xx
Feb 6, 2019
Billy, you were a hero to us beyond words, with lots of love to a beautiful soul xxx
Feb 6, 2019
Rest in peace dear billy, forever in my heart 💔. My love and thoughts to you all Katy xx
Joy Stuart Olver
Feb 5, 2019
Feb 4, 2019
With our love, Andy, Helen, Isabel and Henry xxxx
Feb 4, 2019
Billy's bravery lives on in you all. Thinking of you all. Rest in peace Billy xx
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