A FORMER Cheshire football coach has pleaded guilty to seven child sex offences.

63-year-old Barry Bennell entered guilty pleas to six counts of indecent assault at the beginning of his trial at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday (Monday, January 8).

A reporting restriction on a guilty plea to a charge of indecent assault entered by Bennell at an earlier hearing was lifted by Recorder of Liverpool Judge Clement Goldstone QC.

The ex-Crewe Alexandra coach is still due to stand trial for 48 offences, including 35 counts of indecent assault, 11 serious sexual assaults and two counts of attempted sexual assault.

The charges he will stand trial to relate to 11 complainants and are alleged to have happened in the 1970s and 1980s, when the alleged victims were boys aged between eight and 15.

Bennell appeared via videolink in court wearing a grey jumper.

The seven charges Bennell admitted relate to three victims and happened between 1981 and 1991, when they were aged between 11 and 14.

The jury in the trial is expected to be sworn in this morning, when the prosecution case will open.

An earlier court hearing was told Bennell had previously changed his name to Richard Jones and would be referred to in the proceedings as Mr Jones.