Shocking Court Documents Claim Chelsea Coaches ‘Punched And Kicked Young Black Players’ In The 1990s

by : Emily Brown on : 19 Aug 2021 15:13
Shocking Court Documents Claim Chelsea Coaches 'Punched And Kicked Young Black Players' In The 1990sPA Images

Coaches of Chelsea’s youth football team have been accused of assaulting young Black players in the 1990s in documents obtained from the High Court. 

Accusations have been made by 10 players who have launched civil claims against Chelsea as the employers of Graham Rix, who previously worked as Chelsea’s youth-team coach, and Gwyn Williams, the former director of youth development, with four of the accusers set to take part in a five-week trial beginning March 7, 2022.


Both Rix and Williams are understood to have denied assaulting any player, though the court documents allege Black members of the team were punched and kicked, among other assaults.

Chelsea Football Club logo (PA Images)PA Images

One player claims he was punched by Rix on a number of occasions, as well as being subject to repeated assaults from Williams.

The documents, obtained by The Athletic, detail a culture of ‘racist bullying’, with Rix alleged to have punched a youth-team player between the legs during a four-year ordeal which left the victim, who is now in his forties, with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Rix is also said to have hit the same player in the head more than once and left him with minor burns after pouring a cup of scalding coffee over his head, as well as causing a nose bleed after hurling a football from almost point-blank range at a player.

Williams has reportedly acknowledged his previous use of racial language, but has submitted evidence to the court to say it was not intended maliciously and continues to deny the allegations of assault.

Graham Rix (PA Images)PA Images

Chelsea has denied vicarious liability, though the club has previously accepted elsewhere that there was a racist culture within the club at that time.


In its defence, the club has argued it had no reason not to employ Rix or Williams as there were no complaints at the time. Chelsea’s legal team will reportedly also argue it was not reasonable to have expected proper safeguarding measures to be in place in the 1990s and as a result, it will be impossible to have a fair trial more than 20 years on.

In Chelsea’s legal papers, barrister Nicholas Fewtrell wrote: ‘There is no adequate explanation for this delay on the part of the claimant.’

When it goes to trial next year, the case will feature a line-up of 62 witnesses and potentially some of the biggest names who played or worked for Chelsea in the relevant era.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: News, assault, Football, no-article-matching, Racism


The Athletic
  1. The Athletic

    Chelsea coaches ‘punched and kicked young black players’ in 1990s