St Kilda to offer independent support for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Darrell Ray and the 1976 Moorabbin Cats.

Twelve months on from revelations that its Little League team was infiltrated by paedophile coaches for more than a decade in the 1960s and ’70s, St Kilda Football Club has announced support services for survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the club.

Key points:

  • St Kilda football club will offer independent support services for childhood sexual abuse survivors
  • In April 2021, former Saints star Rod Owen revealed the toll of sexual abuse by Saints Little League coaches
  • An ABC Sport investigation led to disclosures of abuse by dozens more St Kilda players

The club has agreed to a charter of cooperation with In Good Faith Foundation (IGFF), a support and advocacy service for “survivors, families and communities impacted by institutional abuses”, which will provide independent counselling services to former St Kilda Little League and Saints Junior League players.

In April 2021, former St Kilda star Rod Owen revealed to ABC Sport the devastating legacy of his childhood sexual abuse by Saints Little League coach Darrell Ray, who led the team between 1967 and 1977 and team manager, the late Albert Briggs, who administrated the team from 1967 to 1980.

Owen’s story, and a subsequent ABC Sport Investigation, led to disclosures by dozens of former Saints Little League players.

Darrell Ray and the 1976 Moorabbin Cats.
Rod Owen revealed that Darrell Ray abused him when he was coach of the Saints Little League program.(Supplied)

Another child sex offender, Ray’s brother-in-law Gary Mitchell, had been the team’s unofficial assistant coach, driving boys to and from games.

Author: Ivan Robinson