A FORMER Saints' youth coach has denied 50 charges of sexual abuse against children.

Bob Higgins is accused of abusing 24 boys between 1970 and 1996.

The 64 year old recently appeared at Southampton Magistrates' Court before his plea and trial preparation hearing in front of Judge Jonathan Fuller QC at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Mr Higgins, who is from Southampton, was the youth development officer at Southampton Football Club in the 1980s.

He will stand trial at Salisbury Crown Court on May 29.

He was granted unconditional bail.