A FORMER Newcastle United coach has denied 35 historic sexual offences which date back as far as 1973.

George Ormond, 61, appeared via a videolink at Newcastle Crown Court, giving a clear "not guilty" plea to each of the charges which were said to relate to 18 complainants.

He faces 33 counts of indecent assault, one of gross indecency with a child and a serious sexual offence with a 15-year-old.

The charges relate to a period between 1973 and 1998.

The defendant, wearing glasses and with a grey beard, appeared via a link from Bradford.

He was granted bail and will stand trial on May 21 next year.

Lee Fish, prosecuting, said: "There are 18 complainants and other witnesses who will be called to provide factual evidence.

"The trial will take between four to five weeks."

The defendant, of no fixed address, volunteered as a coach at Newcastle United as well as other clubs in the area.