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Notorious paedophile infiltrated Bulldogs’ home ground as part of his process for grooming boys

Notorious pedophile infiltrated Bulldogs home as part of his boy grooming process and had ‘access to all areas’ of the club

  • A pedophile took his victims to Footscray’s home base, they claim
  • Two John Coogan victims say they were cared for at the football base
  • Coogan is said to have introduced the boys to players of the Footscray team
  • He was sentenced to five years in prison in the 1990s for abuse spanning several decades

A notorious pedophile found guilty of abusing boys for decades took some of his victims to the Bulldogs’ home, survivors of his abuse say.

John Patrick ‘Jack’ Coogan, a serial abuser who abused Geelong schoolboys in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, was convicted of a number of child sex offenses in the mid-1990s.

Now two of his victims say they were taken to the Western Oval’s inner sanctum — formerly the base for the Footscray Football Club and now the home of Western Bulldogs — as part of Coogan’s grooming process.

The men told ABC Sport that they were not abused on the club’s grounds, but Coogan knew they were football enthusiasts and took them to club training nights between 1976 and 1978.

Both victims were between 10 and 12 years old at the time, and Coogan introduced them to Bulldogs players and staff, who signed autographs. The now deceased pedophile used the trips to manipulate the boys.

The Bulldogs claim there are no club records to confirm whether Coogan had an official title with the club, but the two men suggest he volunteered and was on friendly terms with the players – giving massages regularly.

“He had access to all of Footscray’s rooms,” said one of the men.

Victims of notorious pedophile have claimed they were cared for on Bulldogs property

Victims of notorious pedophile have claimed they were cared for on Bulldogs property

“He used to massage all the players and seemed to have a thigh fetish. He would massage with oil or deep heat.

“He was grooming me at the time, to get me used to him massaging the players and to show that it was normal for men to do this.”

Coogan was an acquaintance of Bill Goggin, although the Geelong club legend insists he was unaware of Coogan’s insult and denies the suggestion that he ever drove the former physical education teacher and one of his victims to the Western Oval.

“I knew nothing about it,” he said. “If we had known, we probably would have said or done something, I don’t know. But I never suspected it. I can’t remember anything.’

Of the alleged car ride, Goggin said, “I wouldn’t even have allowed that. I don’t remember him going. For someone to get in the car with a little boy, that would be so stupid.’

There is no suggestion that Goggin has engaged in inappropriate conduct.

Coogan was sentenced to five years in prison in the mid-1990s after being found guilty of 17 counts of indecent assault on multiple boys between the ages of 10 and 15. The crimes took place from 1962 to 1983.

He is the third sex offender associated with the Footscray Football Club in the 1970s and 1980s, with former club fund-raiser Graeme Hobbs abusing boys on the club’s grounds, while former Footscray coach John Wayland was reportedly a “leader” of a pedophile gang.

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