A football coach killed in a car crash on the first day of his sex abuse trial made boys “fight naked” in initiation tests, one of his accusers has said.
Michael “Kit” Carson, 75, who denied abusing boys over a period of 30 years, died when his car hit a tree in Cambridgeshire.
Former trainee Miles Smith told the BBC Mr Carson would take showers with boys and watch as they massaged themselves.
Mr Carson’s barrister said his client had prepared a “robust defence”.
The coach had worked in a number of youth development roles at Peterborough United, Cambridge United and Norwich City football clubs.
Mr Smith, a prosecution witness who has waived his right to anonymity, was coached by Mr Carson after joining Cambridge United in 2001, aged 11, on a youth scholarship.
He said boys were made to run in the snow fully naked, and told it was to “toughen us up” and “make us men”.
On other occasions, Mr Smith said, trainees would be made to fight naked under the guise of an initiation test.
“It was all to build character, but it always felt really awkward,” he said.
In a BBC interview recorded shortly after Mr Carson’s arrest in January 2017, Mr Smith claimed the coach would get in the showers with the boys and “would never explain why”.
“Afterwards again he would make us massage ourselves – this could take up to an hour, being in the changing room with him, naked, showering and massaging ourselves,” he said.
Mr Carson, of Riverside, Cambridge, was arrested in January 2017 as part of an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse in football in Cambridgeshire.
The former coach and scout had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing to 12 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Cambridgeshire Police said the allegations involved 11 male victims, all under 16, between 1978 and 2009.
“Looking back at it now I wish someone did raise the issue,” Mr Smith said, “I can see how wrong it is but at the time we all just thought it was natural. We never really reported it to our parents.”
“Back in the youth team days I saw players drop out after these tournaments. It killed their football because of this one man.”
Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the fatal crash, which took place on a straight section of the A1303 between Cambridge and Newmarket at 09:45 GMT on Monday.
The trial was formally discontinued when news of Mr Carson’s death was relayed to Peterborough Crown Court on Tuesday.
Mark McDonald QC, defence barrister, said his client was “strident and robust in his opposition to the allegations”, and his account of events “stood up to scrutiny”.
Mr Carson’s death is being treated as non-suspicious, a force spokeswoman said.