London: Former Newcastle United youth team coach George Ormond was on Tuesday sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of 36 sexual offences against young men and boys between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s.
Ormond, who was a coach at the Montagu and North Fenham boys' club which fed players to the Premier League club, was found guilty after a five-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court of abuse against 18 victims.
All the victims were under the age of 18.
"To many of his victims he was a figure of authority, trust and influence," said Gary Buckley of the Crown Prosecution Service.
"Instead of nurturing and supporting them, he exploited his role to subject them to sexual abuse," he added.
The jury convicted Ormond, 62, of 35 counts of indecent assault and one of indecency against a child, but cleared him of one charge of buggery.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
Ormond was the first person to be charged as part of Operation Tide, a police investigation set up late last year to look into allegations of historic child sex abuse at football clubs in the northeast of England.
The scale of abuse among youth football teams came to light in 2016, when a string of ex-footballers, including England internationals, told of the crimes inflicted upon them, including years of being repeatedly raped.
Former football trainer Barry Bennell was in February sentenced to 30 years in prison for abusing 12 boys he coached between 1979 and 1991, with the judge branding him "sheer evil".