The following article contains descriptions of sexual abuse.
Former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra revealed in his new book that he was sexually abused at the age of 13 while staying at the home of his head teacher.
Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror provided an excerpt from the book, I Love This Game, Friday:
"The head teacher, believing I'd gone to sleep, would put his hands under my bed cover and try to touch me. I knew what he was doing was wrong, so I tried to push him away and punch him.
"I was tough, but I was scared too, although I couldn't show him my fear. This could go on for 10 or 15 minutes, like a fight. He wasn't joking; he was going hard trying to get my pants off. There were no words spoken in the dark, but he was touching himself and getting sexually excited by what was happening.
"I didn't tell anybody. I was too ashamed to speak to my mother and I didn't know if anyone else would believe me. I haven’t told anybody the full story until now.
"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."
The head teacher is similar to a principal in United States schools.
Evra, who also starred for the French national team during his playing time, told Alyson Rudd of The Times he didn't shed full light on the abuse when he first wrote the book, but he decided to expand on his experience to help children who find themselves in a similar situation.
"So I just want to make sure kids out there have the courage and do not blame themselves, because I always blamed myself," Evra said. "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."
The 40-year-old retired footballer noted he was contacted by police 16 years ago about abuse allegations brought against the teacher, but he didn't feel comfortable confirming his own story at that time.
Evra, who won five Premier League titles with Manchester United, also spent time with Juventus, Monaco and several other European clubs during a 20-year playing career.
Since his retirement in 2019, the former Red Devils standout confirmed he's spent time back at United working to complete his coaching badges.