Former Workington Reds star Paul Stewart will bravely relive the trauma of childhood sexual abuse in a major new BBC documentary.

The former England, Liverpool and Spurs favourite will speak about his ordeal at the hands of youth coach Frank Roper.

It comes five years after Stewart courageously waived his anonymity to go public on the abuse he suffered from the ages of 11 to 15.

And the television series, starting next week entitled Football’s Darkest Secret, comes in the wake of the publication of an independent review into historical child sexual abuse in football.

The long-awaited review, led by Clive Sheldon QC, found that the Football Association should have done more to keep children safe from predatory coaches.

The FA has issued an apology for its failings.

Stewart, who played for Workington from 1998-2000 and helped Reds win the North West Trains League in 1999, said the trauma of being abused for four years has affected much of his adult life.

In an interview with the News & Star to coincide with the publication of his autobiography, Damaged, Stewart said he had considered suicide as he struggled to come to terms with the emotional legacy of what he had been through.

He used alcohol and Class A drugs to try and block out the memories and has suffered from depression.

Blackpool-based Stewart, 56, now works with football’s authorities giving safeguarding advice to coaches, players and families.

He told The Mirror this week: “I was troubled all the way through my career. I tell young players I have a 1991 FA Cup winner’s medal in the house. But I don’t put it on show.

News and Star: Paul Stewart pictured in Blackpool for his autobiography, Damaged (photo: Tony Woolliscroft)Paul Stewart pictured in Blackpool for his autobiography, Damaged (photo: Tony Woolliscroft)

“It represents the pain and heartache I endured – I don’t even display the England caps. I had some highs in my career. I never enjoyed them because I had this empty soul.”

Roper died in 2005. The Sheldon report found that the coach, who had a "close association" with Blackpool FC, had been convicted of indecent assault on a minor in 1960, 1961, 1965 and even in 1984, yet basic checks on him were not done and “there was no formal mechanism by which the club could have obtained information about these convictions”.

The Sheldon report, which interviewed hundreds of people, found a catalogue of “mistakes” and “delays” by the game’s authorities in the responsibility to keep children safe in a number of cases.

The FA failed to ban two of the most notorious coaches in Barry Bennell and Bob Higgins, while it was found that clubs’ responses were “rarely competent or appropriate” when incidents of abuse were reported.

Sheldon said: "Understanding and acknowledging the appalling abuse suffered by young players in the period covered by the review is important for its own sake.

"Survivors deserve to be listened to, and their suffering deserves to be properly recognised.

“As well as recognising and facing up to what happened in the past, it is also important that this terrible history is not repeated, and that everything possible is done now to safeguard the current and future generations of young players."

In response to the report, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham issued a “heartfelt apology” on behalf of the organisation.

He said: "We must acknowledge the mistakes of the past and ensure that we do everything possible to prevent them being repeated," he continued.

"Thankfully there have been huge strides in safeguarding in sport and football over the past two decades, and the report recognises that English football is in a very different place today."

Stewart added to the BBC: "I just hope that we learn from our mistakes and not, because of this report, think that by any means our children are safe now."

Football’s Darkest Secret starts on Monday, March 22 at 9pm on BBC One and the three-part series will be on iPlayer afterwards.