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Former Manchester United star Patrice Evra reveals being sexually abused aged 13

The former Manchester United and France defender has bravely spoken out about the abuse he suffered as a youngster, and hopes to help children going through similar ordeals

Evra says he was sexually abused as a child, and he now wants to help youngsters suffering

Former Manchester United and France star Patrice Evra has revealed that he was sexually abused as a teenager.

Evra, who also represented Monaco and Juventus during an illustrious career, has opened up on the abuse in his new autobiography, alleging that he was regularly molested in his head teacher’s house at the age of 13.

Now 40, he has admitted feeling “ashamed” over the abuse – he never told his mother until recently – but has elected to detail his experiences to ensure other kids don’t feel that way.

“When I first did the book, I didn’t tell the whole story because I was still ashamed and scared about what people will think,” Evra tells The Times.

“Now I want to say it because I don’t want kids to be in my situation and they are ashamed of themselves, thinking they are not brave, because it’s not about being brave, it’s about being mentally ready to talk about it.

“So I just want to make sure kids out there have the courage and do not blame themselves, because I always blamed myself. I’m not shy to say I felt like a coward for many years because I never speak up.

“It was something heavy in my chest. But I don’t do it for me, I do it for other children.”

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (R) congratulates Patrice Evra after winning their English Premier League



In his new book, I Love This Game , Evra details how he stayed at the home of his principal having moved to a new school, which offered greater opportunities to a young footballer.

Evra reveals how, at his home inside the school grounds, the teacher would let him play Nintendo and help I’m with his homework. “I now recognise that he’d tried to groom me.”

He writes: “The head teacher, believing I’d gone to sleep, would put his hands under my bedcover and try to touch me. I knew what he was doing was wrong, so I tried to push him away and punch him.

“I was tough, but I was scared too, although I couldn’t show him my fear. This could go on for 10 or 15 minutes, like a fight. He wasn’t joking; he was going hard trying to get my pants off.

“There were no words spoken in the dark, but he was touching himself and getting sexually excited by what was happening.

“I didn’t tell anybody. I was too ashamed to speak to my mother and I didn’t know if anyone else would believe me. I haven’t told anybody the full story until now.”

Evra reveals that “On the last night at that man’s house, when he knew that I was going back to my family, he finally succeeded: He put my penis in his mouth.”

Evra celebrates with Rio Ferdinand during their time together at United


AFP/Getty Images)

When Evra was 24, during his time at Ligue 1 club Monaco, with whom he reached the first of his four Champions League finals, he received a call from police about accusations against the head teacher from the kids. However, he refused to give any confirmation amid worries over the reaction.

Now Evra is telling his story – but only after encouragement from his fiancee, Margaux Alexandra, to finally tell his story.

However, before publishing his book, he knew he had to tell his mother, travelling to Paris at the beginning of October to speak to her about what he was about to say.

“Of course, she was devastated,” admits Evra. “It was a tough moment for me.

“I don’t want people to feel pity. It’s a difficult situation. A mother does not expect to hear this from their own child. She felt something [was wrong back then] and had asked me why I did not want to sleep in the teacher’s house. Only now when I am 40 years old do I tell her.

“It was a big shock for her. A lot of anger. She said she was sorry. She said: ‘You must not put it in your book, it’s private Patrice,’ but that’s when I say, ‘Mum, it’s not about me, it’s about other kids. Then she says OK, she understands.

“I know the book will mean people will change their view of me, but I am more than happy to talk with people. I am a better version of myself.

“My friends will say, ‘oh the world will react, think of the pressure,’ but the biggest pressure is to say it to my mum. Even thinking about it now, it’s hard.”

•I Love This Game by Patrice Evra, to be published by Simon & Schuster on October 28 at £20

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