A FORMER Newcastle United coach has been charged with 29 counts of sex offences spanning three decades.

George Ormond is to appear in court charged with a string of offences against boys and young men alleged to have been committed over a 25-year period between 1973 and 1998.

It is understood that the charges relate to complaints made by 17 separate individuals and include 27 charges of indecent assault, one count of indecency with a child and one count of buggery.

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It follows an investigation by officers from Operation Tide, set up by Northumbria Police to examine allegations of historic abuse in football.

During the mid 1990s, Mr Ormond was a youth coach at St James’ Park and also coached boys’ teams elsewhere on Tyneside.

Now aged 61 and living in Newton Abbot, Devon, he will appear before Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on Friday, June 9.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “In April the CPS received a file from Northumbria Police relating to allegations of non-recent sexual abuse.

“Following consideration of the file, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, charges have been authorised against former football coach George Ormond in relation to 29 counts”.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best, of Northumbria Police, said: “We have had a dedicated team investigating allegations of non-recent child abuse within the sporting community since December last year.

“Our specially trained officers have been supporting those who have taken the hugely brave step of speaking to us.

“Our investigations are continuing and we urge anyone who may have been a victim of abuse or has any information about suspected abuse within any sporting community to come forward and report it to us.”

Late last year, a number of former players waived their right to anonymity to say they had suffered sexual abuse in the sport and since then, more than 560 potential victims have come forward.

  • The NSPCC helpline can be contacted on 0800 023 2642.