Investigating child abuse allegations made by former West Country footballers about a trusted football coach. And how Bristol saved Kenny Everett's career.
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You just felt as though you had to go along with what he said to get
Should we bother saving a half finished painting?
And who threw Kenny Everett a lifeline when his
Tomorrow I have got to go and do a press reception
Police forces across the country have been investigating allegations
A number of top clubs had been named, including Southampton,
whose youth development coach also ran a football academy
Jeff Twentyman and has been speaking to some former players scarred
by their experience of training under Bob Higgins.
I have been involved in football all my life.
As a schoolboy I played for Liverpool reserves.
As an adult I played for Bristol Rovers for seven years.
In my time playing the game I never experienced anything untoward.
But an increasing number of men who as boys were coached
by Bob Higgins in an academy near Bath say they did.
We have heard of naked, soapy massages.
They would massage your groins, all in your groin area.
There was the odd touch on your private parts,
your genitals, and it wasn't uncommon for a young lad to be sat
Driving along, and he got my head and put my head down on his lap.
And do you know what, I can actually still smell the urine
So how could this have happened in the sport that I love so much?
In the 1980s, Bob Higgins was the youth development officer
He brought on future England stars Matt Le Tissier and Alan Shearer.
He also ran the Bob Higgins soccer Academy, which had a training centre
He coached young boys between the ages of 12 and 16 here.
It is now the site of Bath Spa University.
Jason Upshaw from Street in Somerset trained at the Academy here every
It is his first time back and it is a bit raw.
How does it feel, then, Jason, back here this morning and there
Meant to be an enjoyable time for you, but it is not.
It happened all those years ago, but obviously it has still got
Yeah, I think you try and bottle it up.
Jason was often invited to stay over the night at Higgins's
house in Southampton, along with other lads before
I was asked to go down to his house in terms of, this
was developing for homesickness, you know, for when we become
Because I never did that, there was times and occasions that
Basically I had to go through another coach for stuff.
What, he didn't speak to you for six months?
Jason travelled to Sweden with Southampton's youth team to compete
He says he was ordered to take part in soap and water massages there.
We were told, naked, get your towels, go up.
One of your fellow would do one leg, and one of your fellow...
Yeah, team-mates, would do the other.
He followed me down and said this is about team-building,
He really forcefully told me to get back up there and do it.
Someone else who was on that tour is Nick Good from Yate.
He was destined to be a football star from a very early age.
Even at the age of 11, he has competed in tournaments in France,
30 years later, and he has agreed to meet me near his home.
Like Jason, Nick also experienced soap and water massages.
And I have heard there was the odd, sort of,
touch on your private parts, your genitals.
It wasn't uncommon for young lads to be sat there with erections.
It was deemed acceptable and a bit of fun.
Unlike Jason, Nick was part of the inner circle and often stayed
When I first went down there, went into the front room, Bob was there.
The really bizarre thing, he has got two young boys
He has got one lead across his front and the other one sort
Again, my age, 12, 13 at the time, just accepted that for being
that is what you do, sort of thing, and I went and sat
down on the floor and sort of just cuddled into his legs,
He did ask me to sit on his lap, which, it is not normal,
Another former academy player is Dean Radford.
His schoolboy dream was to play for Southampton football club,
He has brought me to Hanham in Bristol, where it all began for him.
And there is your own, like, personal football pitch.
And that is where all the dreams and aspirations of being
a footballer playing for Southampton, your
I think they even used to call it the Dell.
I used to come out and have my own little crowd in my head.
That dream did come true when he made it into Southampton's
first-team, coming up through the ranks with Alan Shearer,
There is no suggestion that Alan Shearer was
Bob Higgins, the man in charge of all of this at that age,
He was the guy that made the decision whether I would become
You had to go along with what he said to get
At the time they don't realise there is an inner circle.
All you want to be is one of Bob's favourite.
You could call it a favourite, one of his favourites.
If you were out of favour with him because he hadn't said the right
thing to him or maybe I had declined staying at his house that weekend,
He would grunt at you and not be affectionate towards
So he would build you up to make you feel the most
special thing, and then that is when the control started.
I remember one day, driving along and he got my head and put my head
down in his lap for an hour and a half, drove
It sounds gross, but I can actually still smell urine
A graphic thing to say, but it is just disgusting.
Soapy massages, just tell me about your experience
At the time you don't question it, and it is embarrassing to say this,
but he manipulated me so much that he would be gutted
if he spent 30 seconds longer on the player in front of you,
because you felt he doesn't love me as much as what he
Dean's most harrowing experience happened after he bruised his lower
He said I am going to massage the bruise.
He pulled my shorts and pants down and he basically got his fingers
And that went on for about 30 seconds, half a minute.
He then got up, didn't say a word, washed his hands and said,
just said to me then, "That should sort it for you.
Did you ever seek help from anyone on this?
Because I was so afraid that I would come out of the,
you just called it inner circle, but that is what it is.
I wanted to be part of what I needed to do...
Dean's case against Higgins went to court in 1991,
but the trial collapsed because of a lack of evidence.
We approached Bob Higgins for comment, but he hasn't responded.
In the past he has always denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
Bob Higgins left Southampton football club in 1989 under a cloud.
The reason he left is not entirely clear.
But he went on to coach other teams around the country right up
The lads I have met, the men I have met, their lives
so profoundly affected in such a bad way from the great
The other thing that I find really difficult is that no one challenged
Bob Higgins and said to him, what you are doing
Jason, Nick and Dean have all reported their allegations
Nationally over 1000 allegations of historic abuse in football have
It is clear that what Bob Higgins is alleged to have done may be part
A problem we are only just starting to tackle.
If you have been affected by any issues in this film,
there is a BBC Action Line you can contact.
The National that but the painting is Portrait Gallery in London
wants to buy a painting by a Bristol born artist.
Nothing unusual in that, but the painting is unfinished,
there are dozens of portraits of the same person and they want
If you like a nice portrait, you will love
They have got thousands of pictures of the great and the good.
This is a portrait of the Duke of Wellington.
It is over 180 years old, just one of dozens painted of the Duke,
and the gallery wants to buy it for ?1.3 million.
So why does the National Portrait Gallery want to raise all that money
for another portrait of another dead white guy?
We do not, in the collection as it currently stands,
have a portrait that can do Wellington justice, and he is one
of the most major heroes and historical figures
The painting is owned by an anonymous collector
and it is only on loan until the end of March.
To keep it forever the gallery is asking the public
It was painted by one of the greatest artists of the age,
Today Bristol is probably better known for street artists
But this is where Sir Thomas Lawrence was born
His father ran a pub, but the business failed.
So he tried again in divisors, running this in catering
for the travelling between London and Bath.
It turned out that Thomas Lawrence was a child genius.
He painted portraits of the paying guests who flocked
Which was fortunate, because this business also failed.
The family then followed the money to Bath, where from the age of ten
Lawrence supported them by selling his portraits.
So just how good was this child prodigy?
To find out I am having my portrait drawn by Bill, who teaches
So, Lawrence's portraits when he was 14, what are your views on those?
They are incredible for a 14-year-old, aren't they?
I would guess he had a wig at home which he copied,
because I don't think a sitter could have stayed there long enough
I think he has taken them home and polished them and worked on them
and he was well tuned in to the standard ideals
So it is almost like he Photoshopped them in the 18th century?
If you can bring out their individuality and their quirks
and still please them, that is the idea, isn't it,
But if you're not being commissioned, you can
Lawrence's teenage line drawings belonged to Bath's Holborn Museum.
They own another unfinished oil painting, done when he was 22.
Last year the Museum raised ?400,000 to buy it.
We were actually looking quite actively for a portrait by Lawrence,
and when we saw this one we realised this was the one.
It is a preliminary study for the finished work,
so this is just getting the likeness of the sitter.
And it is quite rare, because we rarely see oil
He loved drawing, he collected drawings as well.
But oil sketches that have a finished companion are quite rare.
While in Bath, he first painted the famous actress Sarah Siddons,
a meeting which led to a complicated and rather scandalous relationship
with her two daughters, starting with Sally.
How did his love life transpire through his life?
He was in love with Sally, but he wasn't in a financial
So understandably Sarah Siddons and her husband weren't going
Later he decided he preferred her much more beautiful
younger sister Maria, who sadly was dying of consumption.
I don't think she was a very good patient, and she was petulant
And her elder sister suddenly became much more attractive again,
so Lawrence fell in love with the older sister
But on her deathbed Maria made Sally promised she would
Whether or not she felt bound by that promise, I don't know,
In fact Lawrence never married at all, and poor Sally followed
after her sister and only five years later she died in 1803.
While his love life unravelled, Thomas Lawrence moved
to London to study painting at the Royal Academy,
becoming its president in 1820 at the age of 51.
This flattering and polished style made him one of the most important
He became the Prince Regent's go to image maker, always portraying
Time for the slightly nerve wracking reveal of Bill's work.
That was a unique experience for me, but back then of course it was how
Lawrence always understood the importance of being expensive.
So, you know, it is like a courtier now.
You know, a fashion designer, you go and have an individual
relationship and get the portrait that you and the artist sort of make
But it would be reassuringly expensive.
Not only was the Duke of Wellington a hugely important military figure,
Lawrence's painting shows him in his later years when he
Sadly Lawrence died before he could finish it.
This unfinished moment, this moment sort of frozen in time,
I think gives us the opportunity to engage with Wellington in a way
that I think is less easy when you have a completely
watertight finished historical portrait in front of you.
?1.3 million as a lot of money for a piece of art.
This work will be an incredibly well priced Lawrence,
and it will sit on the walls of the gallery on permanent display
in perpetuity to represent the achievements that Wellington
and Lawrence both made to the history of British life and culture.
To me, you can't actually put a price tag on that.
Even if they raise the cash, there is no plan to bring
the picture to Bristol, so perhaps we will just
Kenny Everett was a legend in the world of broadcasting,
but in 1970 he was sacked from Radio 1.
He hit rock bottom, and his career seemed to be over.
Until he was thrown an unlikely lifeline.
Yes, friends it's your very own Ken back on the BBC.
Suddenly, a barrage of red tape came...
It was an amazing coup at the time, but it wasn't altogether popular
with the senior management of the BBC.
Somebody like Ken was like a mad little imp causing great joy
for the listeners and not a little worry for the men in suits.
Kenny Everett was in the original line-up of DJs when Radio
Then three years later he was sacked.
A joke about the Transport Minister's wife was the last straw.
Because the BBC, the Beeb, it was his idea of heaven.
I think he would have liked to have been dead.
He was so devastated, he was just on the floor.
I was always good at picking him up, because he was quite,
he was oversensitive anyway, but that was the worst thing that
The following year here at the BBC in Bristol,
the youngest local radio manager in the country was grappling
How do you attract a bigger audience to a fledgling radio station?
But he wanted to take four weeks off to go on holiday.
I wasn't sure what to do, and then I suddenly thought,
So I thought, let's have a go, so I rang him up.
Was it a bit of a risky role of the dice taking on Kenny Everett?
When you are 26 you don't think too deeply about such things.
I just saw an opportunity to indulge in a nice piece of public relations
with a performer who had been sacked by the BBC and was
The news soon reached the corridors of power
And David picked up the phone to hear the stern voice of the BBC's
managing director of radio, Ian Trethowan.
He said, "We have a file and it says on the file that he must not be
taken on by anybody in the BBC without reference upwards.
So I said, "Well, I didn't even know it was there."
So what are you going to do about it?"
He said, "If this goes wrong, be it on your own head."
We had a young lady on our staff at Radio Bristol, who was a toughie.
I was confident that she could say no to anybody, certainly
to Kenny Everett, if he were to go off the rails.
I remembered this terrible moment, David looked around at these
aghast people and said, "Kate, you're the producer..."
Although David's BBC career was already on the line,
he invited the national papers and a TV crew to announce
Tomorrow I have got to go and do a press reception
They are putting me on Radio Bristol.
Don't you think that you have been in some way browbeaten into coming
back because this is the only outlet of radio in this country?
No, I don't feel strange about my dismissal.
I have never been in The Daily Mirror more in my life.
No, I look upon Radio Bristol as a cuddly little radio station
Now, from our newsroom, dear Ken, please come back to Radio 1.
If you don't come back, I know I will have to do
Like running into Woolworths and shouting, Marks and Spencers!
So please come back, yours faithfully, Kenny Everett.
He used to put in the most enormous amount of preparation
And I had said to him, I am your producer.
I lived off it for years saying I was Kenny Everett's producer.
After nearly half a century, David is meeting up again
Kenny and Lee were married for over ten years and lived
Where Kenny would spend hours in his home recording studio making
jingles and other creations for his radio shows.
Which disc jockey would be complete without a music room?
# I look high, I look, I looked everywhere I go...#
They really warned him so many times, they said, you can't do that.
I went to see the director-general the other day.
I have often wondered, after 46 years, what happened
I said, how do you fancy a few shows on BBC Radio Bristol?
I think he was a bit shocked that he could be hired
We had just got our first mortgage, so we were really in it up to there,
and so you saved our life in a funny way.
They had realised that she could syndicate the programmes
and sell them to other BBC local radio stations.
In the end we were just posting them out, you know,
He used everything in my kitchen for sound effects.
I had heard things in my studio and it was my tea towels.
In the end I started locking things up.
I should have locked him up actually, I would
Eventually the couple split up and Kenny came out as gay,
but they remained good friends and Kenny was best man
at Lee's wedding to actor John Alkin from the Sweeney.
All it takes is for a radio Bristol to take a little twiddly bit
on their transmitter and you can get it in stereo.
Mind you, you would have to walk about with two radios.
Ken was clearly both wild and mad and sparky,
You heard little edited bits of tape, bits of music,
including classical music, what he used to call
And he would meld them into this extraordinary
continuous stream of fun, music, jokes, quirky remarks.
Kenny went on to an enormous national success.
In 1995 he died of an HIV-related illness.
As for David, he went on to be a senior manager in the BBC.
I am still very proud of my contact with Kenny Everett,
and I still love the clips that come up on the television and the little
The clearer rockers and the Rod Stewart sketch.
It was all in the best possible taste!
Don't forget there is more on Facebook and Twitter,
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We investigate allegations made by former footballers from the West Country who claim they were abused by a trusted football coach when they were children. We explore why the public is being asked to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy a half-finished portrait. And Seb Choudhury discovers how Bristol saved comic genius Kenny Everett's career.