THE man who led the investigation into the Soham murders was asked to stop taking photos of his nine-year-old grandson at a football game in Oxfordshire.

Retired detective Chief Supt Chris Stevenson, who worked for Cambridgeshire Police at the time of the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002, admitted he was surprised by the incident in south Oxfordshire last weekend.

Mr Stevenson started to take photos of his grandson playing in goal, but he was approached by one of the managers and told he would have to get permission from every parent of every child playing if he wanted to keep the pictures.

As a result, he deleted the pictures and said the incident made him feel like a suspected paedophile.

“I felt humbled. I am now a suspected paedophile along, I suspect, with millions of other parents and grandparents,” he said.

“I looked at the pictures I had taken — they were of my grandson making several saves as his team were under pressure.

“I am sure he would have liked to look back on them in the future.

“It just never crossed my mind that you were not allowed to take pictures.”

Mr Stevenson told the Oxford Mail that he was told at the game that the club could be liable to fines if it was found to be in breach of Football Association guidelines regarding the taking of pictures of children under 18 at football matches.

Mr Stevenson has asked the Oxford Mail not to name the village team his grandson plays for to ensure he is not upset by the row.

The Football Association, which has issued detailed guidelines to clubs about photos or videos of children playing football, said it encouraged the “taking of appropriate images of children”.

Its guidelines add clubs should ensure they have parental consent to use a player’s image, if it is to be used in the public domain.

And they said it is not an offence to take appropriate photographs in a public place, even if asked not to do so.

Scott Field, a spokesman for the Football Association, declined to comment on Mr Stevenson’s case.

Andy Earnshaw, county development officer for Oxfordshire Football Association, said: “We work closely with the FA and we do adopt the same policy on photographs.

“I don’t want to comment on this particular case — it is up to teams and managers to use common sense and follow the guidelines.”

Mark Edwards, sports editor of the Oxford Mail, said: “As sponsors of the Oxford Mail Boys League, which features teams of players under-nine to under-15, it is rare we encounter many problems.

“In my experience, nearly all clubs get parents to sign a disclaimer when registering their child for that season, stating that pictures may be taken and used.We send a photographer to a boys league match every week and, as yet, he has never been stopped from taking pictures.