Victims of sexual abuse in football have come forward to Hertfordshire Police as the true scale of the nationwide scandal continues to grow.

The force has revealed that it has received seven separate reports of historic sexual abuse at football clubs in the county since revelations first broke last month.

Police said none of the reports related to Watford FC.

The force is also encouraging any victims of abuse to come forward.

Former professional footballers including Andy Woodward, Paul Stewart and David White revealed last month they had been victims of sexual abuse from coaches as junior players.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is the latest force to confirm it is investigating such claims alongside 21 others.

To date, seven allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse related are currently under investigation.

Two have already been referred out of force, four have no further lines of enquiry, and the final one is in preliminary stages of investigation but is not linked to a professional football club.

Detective Inspector Chris Treadwell said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to protecting children and young people and the specialist Joint Child Protection Investigation Team (JCPIT) is dedicated to investigating both current and non-recent allegations of abuse. The unit works with the wider policing service to safeguard victims as well as bring those who harm children to justice.

“The physical or sexual abuse of children can occur in any setting, not just sport, and in many cases occurs when perpetrators are in a position of trust.”

The National Police Chiefs' Council said 98 clubs across the country and spanning all tiers of the game had been "impacted" by the growing abuse scandal, with 83 potential suspects identified.

The vast majority of potential victims were male, and were seven to 20 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

The NSPCC said last week they had received more than 1,700 calls to its free helpline since it launched on November 23 including 50 calls within the first two hours of it opening scandal.