What happened to young footballers in Celtic’s name ?
How many predators can be associated to one football club ?
When will there be proper justice served and the victims of abuse put first ?
Since it’s very beginnings in the 1960’s boys were abused at Celtic Boys Club set up with the blessing of Jock Stein and Sir Robert Kelly.
Frank Cairney was brought to the club by Celtic scout and ex player John Higgins with the brief from Jock Stein to supply players to Celtic FC. He was due to become the Hamilton Accies assistant manager at the time.
Frank Cairney was infact already at Celtic before then. He was Jimmy Johnstone’s driver.
The boys club was taken on trips around the world the likes of the US, Canada, France and Spain and here in Scotland and around the UK.
In the 1990’s Jim Torbett the founder of the boys club was jailed for offences and Frank Cairney charged but acquitted.
Recently there have a wave of fresh accusations and arrests of men associated to Celtic Boys Club including Jim Torbett, Frank Cairney, Gerry King and Jim McCafferty who was kit man at Celtic. Currently all awaiting trial.
Jim McCafferty used to visit the home regularly of Lawrence Haggart the Celtic youth who was murdered in the 90s. He took him to games and was involved in the youth set up. In December 2016 the father of Lawrence said in a daily mail article of his fears that his son was abused by McCafferty.
Frank Cairney replaced Jim Torbett in the 1970s and was known as the godfather of the Celtic youth who brought through many of the boys who went on to be soccer stars in the 1st team and elsewhere through the years.
In 1991 Frank Cairney was accused of alleged abuse during a trip to Kearny in New Jersey. The parents, the adults on the trip and the then club manager Liam Brady agreed not to inform the police.
Jim Torbett returned in the 1980s to the club.
Torbett was a director in business with Jack McGinn who founded the Celtic View and was heavily involved with the SFA as Treasurer, Vice Chairman and President for many years as well as being commercial director, vice chairman and chairman of Celtic and Kevin Kelly who was a director and chairman at Celtic.
Between 1992 and 1997 Jim Torbett was a director of a charity in Edinburgh called Fairbridge for vulnerable kids now part of the Princes Trust.
After Torbett was jailed in the 1990s in excess of £1million was paid to his company The Trophy Centre from Celtic FC.
In 2002 cleaners at the store cupboard at Celtic Park found a bag of some 250 photos of naked and semi naked boys that belonged to John Cullen of the Celtic View. The boys were never identified and he was given probation and walked free from court.
The Celtic Boys Club and Celtic FC are inextricably linked on every level.
It is alarming that Celtic Boys Club have an SFA quality mark and Celtic FC continue to deny and deflect.
“I didn’t want to go and say to Davie Hay the manager that Frank Cairney was abusing me. Maybe I would not have been welcome there any more.”
“Torbett took my dignity, my confidence and my career. I lost all heart to play.”
David tried to tell Celtic supremo Fergus McCann about Torbett, after picking him up in his cab.
He recalled: “I said: `I used to play with the boys’ club, do you want to hear a story?’
“He said: `No. Just drive’.”
He said: “He has the whole of my backing and that of Celtic Football Club to a man.
“He has trained some of the great names of Celtic, including Roy Aitken, Paul McStay, George McCluskey, Alan Brazil, Pat Nevin, Peter Grant, Andy Ritchie and myself.
“Ever since I knew him he’s been a great friend and a great influence on me and a lot of other players who had the pleasure of playing on his team.”
Again the question is when will there be justice and full inquiry as to what went on in Celtic’s name and what the club board knew about the following men at the same club at the same time…