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Patrice Evra detailed the abuse he suffered as a child in his autobiography 'I Love This Game'
Patrice Evra detailed the abuse he suffered as a child in his autobiography ‘I Love This Game’ (Getty)

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has revealed he was sexually abused at the age of 13 by his headteacher in France.

Evra, who is widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s best-ever full-backs following his eight-year spell at United, has revealed that he was abused as a child in his new autobiography ‘I Love This Game’.

The 40-year-old also claimed that during his time at Monaco he was approached by police about the headteacher following complaints from other children but denied that he had been sexually abused – a decision which Evra says is one of his ‘biggest regrets’.

In an interview with The Times, Evra revealed that he only told his mother about the abuse two weeks ago.

‘I don’t want people to feel pity. It’s a difficult situation,’ said Evra.

‘A mother does not expect to hear this from their own child. She felt something [was wrong] 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.

Patrice Evra signed for Manchester United in January 2006
Patrice Evra signed for Manchester United in January 2006 (AFP via Getty)

‘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.’

Evra also said that he ‘felt like a coward’ for not revealing his abuse sooner and hopes he can now encourage others to come forward.

‘I’ll be honest with you, 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 and 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,’ said Evra, who retired from football in 2019.

‘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.’

Patrice Evra established himself as a key player under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United
Patrice Evra established himself as a key player under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United (Getty)

In an extract of his book, which has published by The Times, Evra described the abuse he suffered at the hands of his former headteacher.

‘He lived inside the school grounds, alone. It seemed like a smart idea, until he came into my bedroom. I now recognise that he’d tried to groom me. He let me play on a Nintendo. He helped me do my homework and cooked really good food for me. And then he tried to abuse me,’ Evra said in his autobiography.

‘I would get butterflies in my stomach when I was due to sleep over as the end of the school day drew near. It couldn’t go on, and after a few months I told my mum that I didn’t want to stay with him any longer. I didn’t give any reason. By that time, my would-be abuser had become tired of the situation. I was a fighter; I was not going to give in. He didn’t even ask why I was leaving. He knew.

Patrice Evra won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008
Patrice Evra won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008 (Getty)

‘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.

‘Years later, when I was playing for Monaco, the police called me. Some kids had complained about this man and the police wanted to know if he’d ever tried to do something to me.

‘Because I was famous and worried about the reaction, I lied and said no. They asked me if I was sure and I assured them I was. I have lived with that lie for many years. I can’t tell you how much I regret that.’

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Source: Metro Sport

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