A WREXHAM man has spoken of his pride at seeing a TV soap he worked on named as the nation's favourite.

Last year ex-Crewe Alexandra footballer Steve Walters, who has also managed Penycae FC, Rhos Aelwyd and coached at Buckley Town, worked with the producers of Channel 4's teen soap Hollyoaks on a plot which mirrored some of his own experiences of child abuse.

At this year's British Soap awards, the Chester-based show scooped four gongs - including Best British Soap and individual awards for actors involved in the story for which Steve was an adviser.

The story in the Chester-based soap saw young character Ollie Morgan, played by Aedan Duckworth, groomed by Nathan Sussex's character, football coach Buster Smith, who abuses his position of trust

Another character, Brody Hudson, played by Adam Woodward, also came forward to reveal he too was abused by Buster as a teenager.

Adam won Best Male Dramatic Performance as Brody Hudson, while Nathan Sussex won Villain of the Year for his notorious turn as Buster Smith.

Steve offered guidance with the plot, and hoped that with the subject being introduced on an already popular show with an established younger fan-base, it would encourage discussion between youngsters and parents.

His involvement in the soap came less than two years after he established The Offside Trust, which followed an interview with The Guardian that he was subjected to abuse while in the Crewe Alexandra FC youth system in the 1980s.

A Liverpool fan, Steve said he missed the Champions League final to attend the awards ceremony but made the right choice on what turned out to be a record-breaking night for the show.

He said: "It was a bit weird and surreal. I got invited a while ago but only decided to go the day before.

"I thought not many people get the chance to go to the soap awards, and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it and it was well worthwhile.

"Adam who played Brody, invited me to go up when he collected his award but Nathan Sussex gave me a few mentions which was nice, but they didn't have to mention me.

"I was nervous walking in there beforehand but I got there around the same time as Danny Dyer, so that took the pressure off, and it was good to speak to him.

"I knew they were up for a few awards and I believe the voting was extremely close in the Best Storyline category, which went to Coronation Street.

"It's such a powerful storyline and my concerns beforehand were about how it was going to be handled but they could not have done any better.

"I got involved thinking that if it helped just one person then it would have been worth it but dozens of people have come forward because of the storyline, either to ourselves (at the Offside Trust) or other charities, so that makes it all worthwhile.

He added: "I sent an email to Hollyoaks the next day which was read out to all the cast and that was well received apparently.

"I was there to represent survivors and all of football."

With former Southampton coach Bob Higgins due to be sentenced having been convicted last week at Bournemouth Crown Court of 45 counts of indecent assault, Steve added that it was important for people, to stay vigilant and for survivors to share their experiences.

The Offside Trust works to combat child abuse in sport and support the healing journey of survivors.

For more information about the trust please visit