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Monday, September 27, 1999 Published at 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK


Premiership manager on child abuse charges

David Jones (right) pictured with Saints captain Jason Dodd last season

Southampton Football Club manager David Jones has been charged with nine offences against children.

The charges, which are related to sex offences and ill treatment of children, date back to the 1980s when the former Everton player worked at a children's home on Merseyside.

[ image: Dave Jones (second from right) worked in children's homes after his playing career ended]
Dave Jones (second from right) worked in children's homes after his playing career ended
The manager, who has denied all the allegations, was charged after surrendering to police bail on Monday.

He had earlier been questioned by officers from Operation Care, which is investigating allegations of abuse against young people.

The 43-year-old father-of-four was bailed to appear before Liverpool city magistrates on 2 November.

Rupert Lowe, Southampton Chairman: "We are standing behind Dave"
Mr Jones was first contacted by detectives while on holiday with his family in Florida earlier this year.

He voluntarily attended Liverpool's Wavertree Road police station in June when he was arrested, questioned and released on bail without charge.

Operation Care is a long-running investigation into allegations of child abuse dating back to the 1960s.

So far the operation has led to 19 people being jailed for a total of 126 years.

Eight other people are awaiting trial and several others have been bailed pending further inquiries.

'Innocence will be established'

Mr Jones, accompanied by his solicitor, arrived back at Wavertree Road police station just before 10am on Monday.

[ image:  ]
He left four-and-a-half hours later without making any comment.

A statement by Mr Jones, issued through London solicitors Kingsley Napley, later said: "I deny all the allegations.

"I will be concentrating on my work for Southampton FC confident that my innocence will be established in due course." It added that no further statement will be released.

Mr Jones succeeded Graeme Souness as Southampton manager in the summer of 1997.

He had impressed the board during his stewardship of Stockport County, who he steered to promotion to the First Division on a shoestring budget.

Mr Jones spent most of his playing career with Everton but after retiring he spent a spell as a care worker before returning to football coaching.

In a statement Southampton FC said: "The club will stand by him whilst the legal process takes place.

"Fortunately we live under English law which states that Dave is innocent until proven guilty."

The statement went on: "In the meantime the club has no doubt that Dave will continue to work hard to maintain the form that has given the Saints one of their best starts in recent years.

"Our thoughts are with Dave and his family and we hope that the press will respect their privacy at this time."

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