A YOUTH football coach accused of sexually abusing two boys took naked showers with the players he trained.

Bolton Crown Court heard how, after matches, Daisy Hill football coach Michael Coleman made the boys go half a mile to Westhoughton Sports Centre, where he was the manager, to get washed.

One of his alleged victims, who was aged 12 at the time, told a jury: “He insisted we had a shower and he had a shower with us.”

Coleman, aged 75, is accused of indecently assaulting two boys in the early to mid 1980s. He denies the allegations.

Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, said that one of his alleged victims had been alone in the showers with Coleman and they both went into the changing rooms to get dry.

“[The boy] got out of the shower, went into the communal changing rooms which were next to the showers and began drying himself,” said Mr Mackintosh.

“The defendant followed him. He sat next to [the boy] on one of the benches with a towel over his lap.”

He added that Coleman began performing a sex act on himself under the towel before removing the towel, grabbing the boy’s head and pushing it down into his groin.

“[The boy] did not know what to do and did just what he was told,” said Mr Mackintosh.

He added that, after a few seconds, they heard voices and, thinking someone was coming into the changing rooms, the abuse stopped and the boy got dressed and went


The court heard that the boy did not do well at school, took to gambling and drinking and his mental health declined.

At the time the boy did not tell anyone about what


“I was embarrassed and didn’t really know what was going,” he said.

“I didn’t think I would be believed.”

Years later he told his partner, mother and sister about it.

“They tried to persuade him to get the police involved but he refused,” said Mr Mackintosh.

The alleged victim told the court that it was only after media reports of sexual abuse by football coach Barry Bennell and professional players speaking out about their experiences, that he decided to come forward.

“It has ruined my life over the years,” he said.

“With all the stuff going on in the press people were beginning to believe.

“I had more confidence to do it because police were taking it seriously. I don’t think they did back in the day.”

Colin Buckle, defending Coleman, questioned the complainant’s motives for making the allegation on the same day that the Football Association announced an inquiry into child abuse in the sport.

“You decided you were going to make a false accusation against your football coach in the hope, maybe, of financial gain,” said Mr Buckle.

“No,” shouted the witness.

After making his complaint to police in December 2016 police arrested Coleman, of Glaister Lane, Bolton.

When interviewed he denied knowing the boy or that he had ever been involved in any incident with his accuser.

Mr Mackintosh told the jury of seven men and five women that Coleman is also accused of indecently assaulting another boy who played for the Daisy Hill team when he was 12 or 13-years-old.

He said the team, which used playing fields at Mill Street, Westhoughton, would train during the week and play matches on Sunday mornings.

“After training or home matches the players used to use the showers in the sports centre. The defendant would join the boys showering naked with them,” said Mr Mackintosh.

Shortly after joining the team the boy injured his right leg and Coleman gave him physiotherapy, both inside and outside normal training sessions.

He told how, on one occasions, Coleman and the boy were together alone at the sports centre.

“The defendant took [the boy] into a storeroom next to the toilets and sat him down on a bench,” said Mr Mackintosh.

Coleman is said to have knelt down in front of the boy, rubbed a liquid into his leg before running his hand under the child’s shorts and rubbing his


“The defendant did not say anything but was sweating and breathing heavily,” said Mr Mackintosh.

The abuse was said to have been repeated in the same way on at least five other occasions after matches or training when they were alone.

When questioned by police about the allegations Coleman again denied behaving inappropriately and said he could not remember the boy.

The trial continues.