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Ex-Canary backs abuse fight

PUBLISHED: 06:29 24 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:54 01 August 2010

Former Norwich City ootballer Jeremy Goss with Earlham High School pupils  for leadership day

Former Norwich City ootballer Jeremy Goss with Earlham High School pupils for leadership day

Anthony Carroll

Norwich City legend Jeremy Goss demanded the red card be shown to domestic violence yesterday as he visited a vital centre to help female victims of abuse.

Norwich City legend Jeremy Goss demanded the red card be shown to domestic violence yesterday as he visited a vital centre to help female victims of abuse.

The former Canaries midfielder spoke out against men who physically and emotionally abuse women as he toured a Leeway refuge in the Great Yarmouth area.

And as the Norwich City community ambassador spent the morning learning about the work of the Norfolk charity and its three refuges he was shocked to hear that there were more than 10,000 cases of domestic violence reported in the county last year.

Goss was visiting Leeway's Yarmouth centre to help celebrate the organisation's 35th anniversary and the launch of National Domestic Violence Week yesterday.

Leeway has three refuges which house up to 32 victims of domestic abuse and their children in a sheltered and secure environment while they receive practical advice and help.

As well as being shown the refuge's facilities, the former Wales international spent some time meeting the women staying there and played with their children in a spacious play area.

He also heard the Leeway needs to raise about £1m a year so it can help victims and try to meet an annual 16pc rise in cases of abuse.

Goss said: “I am delighted that Norwich City can support this refuge. It is terrific the work they do here.

“Normally you only hear about domestic violence from watching television programmes like Casualty so to step into the real world of it by coming here is a real eye opener.

“This type of abuse has to be stopped.”

One of refuge's residents, a mother of four, said: “Some of the women arrive here with nothing - not even a bag of clothes. Leeway has been great - it offers so much support and just having staff and other residents to talk to is good.”

During his tour Goss joined Leeway staff in having a slice of cake to promote the charity's Big Cake Break fundraising campaign in which people are being asked to buy or make cakes to sell for donations.

He told staff that he would make sure that Norwich City continues to support Leeway in future.

Leeway chief executive Mandy Proctor said: “We are really pleased that Jeremy has come here today. It helps us to rise our profile even higher.”

To take part in Leeway's Big Cake Break call 0845 2412171 or visit www.leeewaysupport.org

Expresso in St Georges Street, Norwich is also supporting the campaign by selling specially made chocolate fudge cake.

Goss was sporting a beard yesterday as he grows facial hair to raise money for children's hospices in the region.

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