A FORMER Bury FC player who suffered sexual abuse from his youth coach has had his story dramatized by the BBC.

Defender Andy Woodward was repeatedly abused by Barry Bennell from the age of 11 while he was a youth team player at Crewe Alexandra in the 1980s.

It was only in 2016, aged 43, that Andy felt able to speak publicly about the abuse he suffered.

After doing so, many more former players found the courage to speak up about their experience of abuse in football.

Barry Bennell, who coached football teams across the North West, is serving a 34-year jail term after being convicted of child sexual abuse offenses against 22 boys.

Andy played for Bury FC from 1995 until 2000 when he moved to Sheffield United.

The new drama, Floodlights, depicts Andy’s life from a boy with a passion for the game to a successful professional footballer until he is no longer able to ignore the haunting memories of the abuse he was subjected to, and his career is cut short.

Floodlights is written by award-winning screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh (Control, Farm Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) and directed by Nick Rowland (Calm with Horses, Hard Sun).

Andy will be portrayed by Gerard Kearns, who is best know for playing Ian Gallagher in Channel 4 drama, Shameless.

Andy said: “Since speaking out in 2016 I've wanted to continue to encourage people to talk without fear, to make a change.

"Floodlights tells my story, which no child should ever have to go through.

"I hope this film helps to stop abuse in football and in all areas of life.”

Senior associate at Hugh James Solicitors Kathleen Hallisey, who has been involved with the case, said: "It’s been nearly six years since Andy Woodward sat down with Victoria Derbyshire and disclosed the horrific abuse he suffered at the hands of Barry Bennell, his football coach and a scout for some of the country’s biggest football clubs.

“His raw vulnerability gave courage and hope to hundreds of survivors, many of them also abused by Bennell.”

Floodlights airs at 9pm on BBC on Tuesday, May 17.