An article in the Bury Free Press archives in 1996 sheds some light on Rogers’ history with Mathew Hodgkinson, who authorities believe shot the former performing arts teacher turned TV star.
It details how Mathew joined the academy after being spotted by Rogers in a Scout gang show.
Later his parents agreed Mathew could lodge with Rogers during the term and spend the school holidays with his family in France, where they ran a holiday camp site.
At the time another boy was also staying at Rogers’ home and one of the reasons Mathew’s parents agreed to let him stay at Rogers’ home was due to the other boy’s presence. However, they had no idea the other boy was there against his mother’s wishes and that his mother had fought to keep him away.
After Rogers was arrested on charges of sexually abusing a teenage boy, Mathew’s parents returned to Bury.
They took Mathew home to France but were bombarded by telephone calls, letters and presents from Rogers and other academy members.
Twice Mathew went missing from the camp site and returned to Bury.
At the time, his mother said: “Mathew was tall for his age and strong so there was no way we could physically make him come home and stay with us.
“We were told that whatever we did Mathew would abscond back to Mr Scott Rogers. It appears it is not illegal to emotionally turn children away from their parents. We believe Mathew has been taught to hate us.”
They issued a plea in the Bury Free Press for him to return to them. They chose to speak out in that article after the other boy who lived with Rogers was reunited with his mother.