Pervert preyed on Celtic Boys Daily Record 12/08/1996 Anna Smith Charles Beaton and Iain Ferguson Pervert football boss Jim Torbett terrorised a generation of young Celtic players. The trusted team chief lured innocent lads with promises of the big time. Then the Celtic Boys' Club supremo molested the babes who idolised him. Depraved Torbett, 50, is still a major figure in the Parkhead talent nursery. Today three of his victims - including Scotland cap Alan Brazil - break their silence. Brazil, 37, said: "Torbett should be locked up. "He shouldn't be allowed anywhere near boys' teams." Sex abuse allegations have haunted Celtic Boys' Club for almost a quarter of a century. A Record investigation has revealed Celtic's board knew about the rumours 20 years ago. Only Jock Stein was big enough to show Torbett the door. And after the legend died, the pervert wormed his way back into the good books. Today, Torbett is a respected senior official of the boys' club. His Trophy Centre shops sponsor the league Celtic boys play in, and provide Celtic FC with most of their medals and awards. He also helped raise cash for the Celtic Charity Fund. And he has a regular seat in the Parkhead directors' box as guest of his pal, past chairman Kevin Kelly. Bachelor Torbett lured Celtic kids to his council flat with ice-cream and fancy meals. He also took them on glamorous foreign tours. Then he used them as sex toys, in return for a promise of glory. John McCluskey, brother of Parkhead star George, was one of Torbett's victims. He said: "All I ever dreamed of was to play for Celtic. But Torbett turned that dream into a memory that will haunt me until I die. "My shame is not for what happened, but for keeping it quiet so long." Last night, Parkhead supremo Fergus McCann promised to personally investigate the scandal. He has already spoken to some of the victims. He even called in police, who found nothing. In a statement, McCann said: "These are very serious allegations, and those concerned should report all information to police. "I would like to make it clear that this matter has no current link to Celtic Football Club. "I have nothing to say on the past board's handling of the matter." Celtic Boys' Club chairman Tony McGuiness said he would call for an immediate special general meeting to probe the claims. He said: "I asked Jim about the allegations, and he assured me he would never do anything to harm the club. "He is still connected with the club, although he is not a regular attender at meetings. "I have heard rumours and counter-rumours over the years against several people, and I recently helped police with certain inquiries." At his home in Glasgow's west end, Torbett said: "I have nothing to say on the matter." Sex fiend left me weeping in a strip room in Norway Daily Record 12/08/1996 Anna Smith At just 13, he was Celtic's youngest- ever signing and hailed as Scotland's greatest prospect. But John McCluskey's dreams of stardom were tarnished by Jim Torbett. The innocent lad was used for tawdry sex by the manager during a boys' club trip to Norway. And, when Torbett had fulfilled his sick obsession, he left his victim alone, confused and crying. John, the brother of Parkhead favourite George McCluskey, spoke yesterday of the agony he has felt for 23 years. Near tears, he said: "My guilt and shame now is not for what happened that night. My shame is that I waited 23 years to do anything about it. "Dunblane was the one thing that made me come forward. If some of the boys abused by Thomas Hamilton had spoken out, perhaps the massacre might not have happened." Striker John was destined to be a Celtic great. At 12, he so impressed Jock Stein that he was promised a place on the ground staff as soon as he left school. A key player at Celtic Boys' Club, John's Lanarkshire home was littered with trophies and medals. But one Best Player trophy fills him with revulsion each time he looks at it. It was given him after the awful night in Norway that changed his life forever. John said: "Every time I look at that trophy, I wonder if I got it because of what Torbett did to me. "I've always felt like throwing it in a river. But, if I had, I'd have had to tell everyone what happened." Tears fill John's eyes as he relives the nightmare. He said: "We were lying in a dormitory talking about football - the usual stuff. "Torbett was sleeping in the dorm and shouted, `Fryer' - my nickname - `go in that room and sort the strips for tomorrow'. "But, when I went in, the strips were already sorted. "Torbett followed me in and sat me down on the bed. He put his hand inside my pyjamas and fondled me. "I was terrified. I didn't know what to do. I just sat there and let him do it to me. "When I think of it now it makes me sick. "He left, and I cried my eyes out. I didn't want to go back among the boys and I didn't want to be by myself. I was so frightened. "Eventually I went back to bed and pulled the covers over my head. "I didn't know what to think. I thought there must be something wrong with me and I must have enjoyed it, otherwise I wouldn't have let him do it to me. "So I was terrified to complain to anyone." John had been on other foreign trips with the boys' club. But he came back from Norway a different person. He said: "Everything had changed. But I was still determined to be a great player. "I trained hard and played really well. I don't know how, but I was able to concentrate on my game." But he stayed away from Torbett. He said: "A crowd of boys used to go to his home all the time. I went once, and that was enough for me. "I saw him beat up a lad who played with the boys' club, but was about 17 and seemed to live with him. "I was horrified to see him slapping his face and punching him, yet the boy did nothing to stop him. "There was always talk around Celtic about Torbett and boys, but nothing seemed to be done until Jock Stein found out. "He kicked Torbett out, but it was still kept quiet. "All the directors and lots of others knew why Torbett got the boot, but it was swept under the carpet." John soon became a young Scottish hero, scoring the winner against England at Wembley in a 1975 schoolboy international. All eyes were on the boy who was to be the new Kenny Dalglish. But, two years later, a kick in training caused a blood clot on his leg that destroyed his career. John made a brief comeback, playing with Celtic's first team in a European tie when he was still 17. But his injury recurred, and he hasn't played since. For nearly 20 years, he has watched former team-mates grab the trophies as his life has become a tragic tale of booze and disappointment. John, who now hasn't touched a drop in four years, reckons his injury helped push him into drinking. But he is sure his biggest reason was to blot out the memory of Torbett's abuse. He said: "I started drinking after Norway. Suddenly it looked like something I wanted to do. "I was drinking heavily from 17. It was the only way to forget what Torbett did. "I was shattered that my career had finished. But I could have lived with that if it hadn't been for Norway. "I'm so glad I don't have sons. I would have wanted to send them to Celtic Boys Club, but I would always have wondered if some pervert was abusing them. "It took me a long time to come to terms with what happened and understand it wasn't my fault. "But there are still days when I suddenly find myself in tears. "Nobody should get away with what Torbett did. How many more boys have suffered because of him? "I still love Celtic. I go to Parkhead every week and I'll be a Celtic man until I die. "I only hope real Celtic fans will understand why I have come forward. If I can help stop this happening to one more boy, it will have been worthwhile." TORBETT PLEADED AS HIS VICTIM SOBBED A few days ago, John got a chilling phone call from Torbett pleading his innocence. It came after John made a sworn statement about the pervert to Celtic's lawyers, in the presence of club supremo Fergus McCann. John said: "I didn't even tell my brother George about Torbett until last week. "He was furious and wanted to do something about it. I told him to leave it, that I was coping fine. "But, when he left the house, I just burst into tears. "While I was crying, the phone rang. It was Torbett. "He said: `What are you doing to me, son?' "I told him it was what he did to me that was the problem. "He said:`You know I never touched you, son. You know I loved you, and your family.' "I was sick, just listening to him. "I told him that I hadn't gone to the police or the newspapers and he said, `I appreciate that, son'.'' John told how a visit from the police, who were investigating sex abuse allegations at Celtic Boys' Club dating back four years, finally made him come forward. He said: "The police were asking about someone else. "I thought they wanted to talk about Torbett, but they didn't, so I didn't tell them my story. "I spoke to Tommy Burns about it instead. He got me to make a statement to Fergus McCann who asked me to make a statement to their lawyers. "I have now done that. I will also make a statement to the police." If you are a victim of sexual abuse at Celtic Boys' Club we want to talk to you. Please call us on 0141-242-3409 or 3325. Wall of silence was his licence to abuse Daily Record 12/08/1996 The finger of suspicion was pointed at Torbett as long ago as the early 1970s. There were whispers that he molested 13 and 14-year-old players in his care. But the victims were too ashamed to admit they had been violated by someone they believed in, so they suffered in silence. The Celtic board were aware of the rumours about Torbett, who was general manager of the boys' club. But only one man took him on. Jock Stein, who saw the youngsters as the lifeblood of the club, gave him his marching orders. The big man brought in business-man Hugh Birt as boys' club chairman, and Torbett went back to building his store empire. But after Stein's death, the pervert wheedled his way back in as fundraiser. Again, complaints were made that boys were being taken away for weekends and sexually abused. But, when Birt raised the matter 10 years ago, he was forced to resign. He said at the time: "It appears the Celtic board want to look in the other direction in the hope the trouble will go away." Birt had been told by anxious parents that their sons were being taken out socially when no games were involved. There were also fears that Torbett was taking boys to non-existent weekend tournaments. Birt raised the claims with then Celtic vice-chairman Kevin Kelly, who passed the issue to manager David Hay. But later Kelly, along with Torbett and boys' club general manager Frank Cairney, asked Birt to resign. When he refused, Celtic withdrew his ticket to the directors' box and he had no option but to get out. Torbett later invited Kelly to become a director of the Trophy Centre chain. The pervert is now a wealthy man, who has swapped an 11th- floor council flat for a plush pad in Glasgow's west end. The Trophy Centre has a string of outlets across Glasgow selling medals, cups and fancy goods. Torbett's business partner and shareholder is Gerry McAleer, a former boys' club player. Despite the constant talk of sexual abuse, Torbett's links with Parkhead remained as strong as ever. In 1993, cash-strapped Celtic called him in to help them make their club shops profitable. At the time, a club spokesman said: "Mr Torbett is a very successful businessman and a Celtic fan. He is a retail specialist, and we want him to review the operation of the shops." By then, Torbett was projects organiser with the boys' club, running tours to America and Europe. After one of those tournaments, in New Jersey in 1991, his old pal Frank Cairney quit as general manager. His resignation followed an alleged incident involving a young Celt. US police investigated, but the case never came to court because the boy wouldn't make a complaint. Torbett's Trophy Centre now sponsors the Scottish Amateur Youth leagues for boys between 12 and 18. Celtic have a team in every league. TWISTED TORBETT WRECKED MY CELTIC DREAMS Daily Record 12/08/1996 Anna Smith Former Scotland star Alan Brazil was kissed and fondled by sex beast Jim Torbett. And yesterday, the striker spoke for the first time of the torment suffered by the pervert's special boys. Alan, 37, said: "Torbett shouldn't be allowed near boys' teams. "Parents should know just the kind of man he is. "It's taken me 23 years to tell what he did to me. All my life I've been too embarrassed to talk about it." In his smart boys' club blazer and grey slacks, the 14-year-old Brazil was proud to be a Celt. And he was full of hope that he could become a superstar at Parkhead. He was so classy that he was to play in the boys' club under-15s - even though he was a year younger than many of the lads in the side. The European Youth Tournament, staged in Glasgow, beckoned. And Brazil was ready to take it by storm. Torbett knew how hungry for glory the youngster was and chose him to be one of his special friends. Alan said: "I went to his house in Pinkston Drive one night after a game. It was my first and last time there. "As soon as I was in the house I knew something wasn't right. He was putting his hands all over people, kissing them, giving them little pecks. I thought, `What is going on here?' "He sat down beside me and planted a couple of kisses on the side of my head, then he started fondling and playing with me, outside my trousers. "They were my grey slacks from Celtic Boys' Club and I still had my club blazer on. "A couple of boys came in and he stopped, and I thought, `Jesus'. "I looked at David Gordon, one of my team-mates, and said, `I'm out of here quick.'" The boys went home together on the bus, in silence. Alan added: "This sounds crazy, but the thing that really sticks in my mind from that night was all these boys having ice cream with raspberry topping. Every time I think of it I nearly throw up." Rejecting Torbett cost Alan his place in the Euro tournament and, perhaps, his career with Celtic. He said: "I made up my mind after that night that I would never, ever have anything more to do with Torbett. "But he didn't give up. There were phone calls galore. "I missed training so I wouldn't have to see him. "Then he would phone inviting me to this and that - saying they were all going out for a nice meal and there would be ice cream. "I kept making stupid excuses, saying I had too much homework. "My parents wondered what was going on, but I couldn't tell them because I was so embarrassed. "I went back to Celtic Boys' Club, but never in Torbett's company. "Without a doubt, I missed out on the big tournament. I had been photographed with the team, and I'm sure I was in the programme. "But I didn't get to play. And I know it was because I didn't let him do anything to me that night at his house." When Alan moved up to the under-15s the next season, and to a new manager, Frank Cairney, he swiftly became the star of the team. He said: "At 15, I was top scorer in the league with 62 goals - a Scottish record. "Lots of big teams were after me. But Celtic didn't sign me and I was heartbroken." Alan will always wonder if Torbett played any part in losing him a Parkhead career. He said: "I'm not saying it had anything to do with him. I couldn't say yes or no. "But I was always baffled as to why I never got a chance. "I was invited down to Everton, Manchester Utd, Ipswich and Spurs. I eventually signed for Ipswich." Alan added: "All my life I managed to put Torbett to the back of my mind and get on with my career. But it has always been there. "It made me very wary of people. "At 14, my whole life was football. I was just an innocent boy as I'm sure most of the lads in the room were. "How many more boys did he abuse? And how many didn't handle the situation as well as me? "It makes me sick to think he may have been getting away with it all these years." "Torbett should be locked up. And his name should be all over every newspaper in the world." Alan's old pal, David Gordon, also suffered at Torbett's hands. He said: "I still have nightmares about what he did to me I was only 13. "I want to see Torbett in court." "He should be jailed for what he did to me, and other boys. We trusted him completely, and all he wanted was to abuse us." Police investigate sex abuse claim at Celtic Boys' Club The Scotsman 13/08/1996 JOE QUINN and TOM CRAINEY POLICE are investigating allegations of sex abuse dating back several years in connection with Celtic Boys' Club, the youth football wing of the Glasgow soccer club, it emerged yesterday. Strathclyde Police said allegations of indecency dating back "a number of years" were being investigated, concerning a person connected with the club. "At this stage of our inquiry it would be inappropriate to identify the individual involved or specify the nature of the allegations," said police. After a meeting of its executive last night, Celtic Boys' Club announced that it had suspended the official pending the outcome of a full investigation. Its chairman, Tony McGuinness, said that allegations which had been published in the press had been discussed. The man had been "excused from his duties at the Celtic Boys' Club, which are purely administrative in nature." He added: "The allegations made are of a very serious nature, and the parties concerned have a responsibility to report any relevant information to the police." Mr McGuinness said he had been advised there could be legal proceedings and therefore felt it inappropriate to make further comment meantime. Police confirmation of the investigation followed newspaper reports yesterday of allegations against a named official of the club, dating back to the 1970s. Celtic's managing director, Fergus McCann, said: "A couple of reports have been relayed to Celtic regarding alleged incidents in the early 1970s which are being followed up. "One written statement has been supplied, however others have failed to confirm in writing despite requests from the club. To the best of our knowledge no-one has made an official complaint to the police, despite the club advising them to do so." He said those involved had a responsibility to report all information to police so the matter could be dealt with properly. "I don't feel it is right for me to comment on the former board's dealings in this matter. "Only when the club is in full possession of the facts will we act or comment further. I would like to make it clear that this matter has no current link to Celtic football club." Second boss accused as boys relive abuse agony Daily Record 13/08/1996 Charles Beaton and Iain Ferguson A second Celtic Boys' Club official was last night accused of abusing young players. One former starlet - now 28 - told of a nightmare car journey with the man in the mid 1980s. Paul, who doesn't want his full name published, was 15 when he joined Celtic Boys' Club. And within weeks the man grabbed his inner thigh in the changing room and said: "Your trousers are too tight." Paul said: "Another time, when we were alone in his car after a tournament, he asked me into the front seat. "I was scared and put my kit bag on my leg. But he threw the bag in the back seat and tried to put his hand on my knee. "He talked about my flannels being too tight, grabbed my inner thigh and touched my groin. "I swore, and he said that language was unacceptable at Parkhead. "He punched me on the shoulder and tried to touch my groin again. "Then he hit me again and the car swerved. "I punched him back, and we drove on to my home in silence. It was the longest, most frightening journey of my life. "I told my mum, who said not to go in his car again." Six weeks later Paul and his team flew to New Jersey for a tournament. After it ended, he and two pals decided to head for the coast for a couple of days. But after 24 hours they were summoned back by the official. Paul said: "I was told to report at a different time from the others. I met him in the changing rooms. "He said he was very distressed, and had been concerned for our safety. "There were tears in his eyes. I got frightened. He put his arm round me and I told him to f*** off. He punched me in the chest and I ran out." Again, Paul told his mum. And his dad spoke to the official when the party returned home. Paul added: "I never played football after that. My dreams were shattered, and this man deserves to pay . "There's not a day when I don't think about what happened. I should have come forward but I was too embarrassed. "I have a son now, and I'd never let him play for Celtic Boys Club." Another young Celt, who asked not to be named, said he was abused by the man in 1984. The 26-year-old, who was 14 at the time, said: "If you were at training he would always try and touch you up. It often happened when he drove boys home. "A couple of times when I was in his car he leaned over and rubbed me between my legs. "I was too embarrassed to do anything about it and couldn't tell anybody. "But all the boys knew what he was like. Most people just tried to keep away from him." Another man saw the official fondle a young Celtic player. He said: "We were in a hotel in Dundee the night before a game and I left my room to look for the official. "I heard his voice from a bedroom and walked in, to find him fondling a boy who was lying on the bed in his underpants. "The man saw I was shocked, and said the lad had a muscle strain." FIVE years ago, police in America were asked to probe claims that there had been an incident involving boys' club general manager Frank Cairney and a young boy during a trip to the USA. The boy later played for Celtic's first team. Police investigated, but no action was taken. LEGENDS PRAISE DAILY RECORD Celtic stars last night praised the Record for exposing the Boys' Club pervert scandal. And they told of their relief that the whistle has finally been blown. Lisbon Lions' skipper and former club manager Billy McNeill said: "I'm glad that it has been uncovered. This type of thing must be eradicated once and for all." Ex-boss and striker Lou Macari said: "At last this is out in the open after years of gossip." Charlie Nicholas said: "Guys like Alan Brazil and John McCluskey have been strong enough to come forward and say what happened to them. I applaud them for that." And former skipper Danny McGrain added: "This is the sort of thing that you must sort out and get the guys involved." Were you a victim? If you were a victim of sexual abuse at Celtic Boys' Club, we want to talk to you. Please call us on: 0141 242 3409 or 0141 2423325. The Samaritans counsel abuse victims. You can call them on 0141 248 4488 or nation-ally on 0345 909090. Pervert was preying on kids from day one of club Daily Record 13/08/1996 Anna Smith From the very beginnings of Celtic Boys' Club in 1966, Torbett was abusing youngsters. One man, who joined the club for their first ever tour, said: "I was 13 and one of the first boys to play for the club and we went to Nantes in France in 1966. "Three days into the trip Torbett was in the dormitory when the lights went out and carrying on with the boys, but he was shoving his hands under the blankets. "When he got to me he did the same, first my pulling my toes, then moving up my legs. "When he touched my private parts I just started to shout and swear at him. I told him I would tell my mum what he had done. "He told to keep my mouth shut. "I didn't get to kick a ball for the rest of the tournament and when I came home I was kicked out of the club." One parent said: "All the parents knew years ago of the stories surrounding Torbett. It was an open secret. "My son played with Celtic Boys' Club but I wouldn't let him go on any tours with them. "There were stories of four and five boys being taken to Aviemore and for days out. "Also Torbett used to be over generous with money he would pay during games with the boys. "There was another game they used to play called `open the box', where the boys answered a question and were paid pounds 50. That was just silly money to be giving to wee boys. "He also gave the boys presents of a wallet with £10 in it. None of that seemed right to me. "Celtic lost a lot of good players because of him. A lot of good players didn't get a chance because they weren't one of Torbett's favoured few." I FELT LIKE DIRT ON MY BIGGEST DAY Daily Record 13/08/1996 Anna Smith Playing Rangers in front of 80,000 fans should have been the crowning glory of young Celt David Gordon's life. But the 13-year-old felt dirty and ashamed as he stood on the hallowed turf of Celtic Park. David couldn't stop wondering if he'd been picked as a reward for what his team boss Jim Torbett had made him do. The Celtic Boys' Club starlet was terrified throughout the hour-long ordeal on the pervert's sofa. But he knew he couldn't make Torbett angry, because he was choosing the team for the big game. David, now a 36-year-old taxi driver, is still traumatised after 23 years of keeping his shame secret. He wept: "Torbett took everything from me - my dignity, my confidence, my career. "I was a young player going places, but I lost the heart to play after he abused me. "Now I don't even watch football." Centre-half David was one of the brightest prospects in the boys' club in the early 1970s. He'd been player of the year in the under-13s, and the team swept the honours in 1973. But there was a greater goal to come. That summer six young Celts were to play Rangers boys during half-time of an Old Firm match, and swap shirts midway through in an anti-sectarian gesture. David said: "All the boys were desperate to play. It was all we lived for. "But it was down to Jim Torbett to decide who would be picked." At that time, David was one of a group of 13 and 14-year-old lads singled out for special attention by Torbett. He took them to the seaside and bought them slap-up dinners. But Torbett had only one motive - to molest them, and forced them into sex acts. The pervert reigned supreme at the boys' club. And his victims were too terrified and ashamed to tell anyone about the abuse. David recalled: "Torbett had taken a shine to me as soon as I joined the club. "There were a few boys he used to take everywhere. We would meet him at Buchanan Street underground in Glasgow and go in his car. "He took us on day trips to Ayr and Largs, and on nights out to the Yellow Bird restaurant in Glasgow. "He paid for everything. He spoiled us rotten. "Then he suggested we go to his house some nights and play cards or watch telly. This was all good fun as well. "But he constantly talked about sex. We were just sexually unaware wee boys, and he kept telling us we could enjoy things if we tried. "He suggested we should masturbate and told us what to do so we would enjoy it. "Then one night, when the lads were at the ice cream van, I was alone with Torbett. He asked me to masturbate him and he would give me money. "I was terrified. I just kept changing the subject, hoping the lads would be back soon. "Another night, we were all watching a film in his house and I was lying back on the couch beside Torbett. "He took my hand and moved it up and down the front of his trousers. He was excited. I didn't even know what I was supposed to be doing. "He made me do that for nearly an hour. "I didn't want the boys to know, in case they thought I only got in the team because I was doing this to Torbett. "But I also wondered if the other boys were doing it to him as well, and if this was normal. "I didn't want to annoy him - the team for the Old Firm match was soon to be picked." David was chosen for the game, but couldn't enjoy it. Sobbing, he recalled: "It should have been the biggest day in my life. "But instead I was wondering if the only reason I got a place was because of what Torbett made me do to him. "My career was over after that. I told my parents I'd injured my knee, and even walked with a limp so I wouldn't have to face Torbett. "For years after that, I wondered if I was gay. "I had sex with girls, but I always wondered if Torbett chose me because that's the way I was supposed to be. "I even got married at 19, partly to prove to myself that I was normal." Now divorced and remarried, David can't rid himself of the memory of Torbett. And after reading recent reports of a police investigation into claims of sex abuse at the boys' club, he gave officers a full statement. He said: "I still have nightmares. I keep thinking what would have happened if I had stayed at the club. "I wonder how many more lads are going through what I am going through. "If Torbett abused them they should come forward. They don't need to feel alone. "I want to see him tried and jailed for what he did to me and the other boys. "At 13 all I wanted to do was play for Celtic. I was just a wee boy with great hopes. Jim Torbett took all of that away." 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'." Beast lured Celtic boy, 13 into sex on sofa Daily Record 13/08/1996 Anna Smith Charles Beaton and Iain Ferguson Pervert Jim Torbett molested a Celtic starlet before a big match, the Record can reveal. The beast, who fled into hiding yesterday, left 13-year-old David Gordon so traumatised he quit football. As David relived his ordeal on Torbett's sofa, police were launching a probe into the former Celtic Boys' Club boss. And last night Torbett was kicked out of the club, after the Daily Record exclusively revealed how he abused a generation of young players. Calls about Torbett flooded into our offices as David, now 36, told how the twisted businessman forced him to touch him sexually. He said: "It went on for nearly an hour. I was terrified. "But I didn't want to annoy him, because a team of lads were due to play Rangers boys at Parkhead and he was picking the side." David made the team, but it was his last ever game. He added: "Torbett took my dignity, my confidence and my career. I lost all heart to play." Torbett was kicked out of the boys' club after an emergency meeting yesterday. Club chairman Tony McGuinness said: "He has been excused from his duties, which are purely administrative. "The allegations in the Daily Record are very serious. There could well be legal proceedings." Wealthy Torbett, 50, fled his plush Glasgow flat yesterday in an pounds 80,000 Mercedes. Staff at his Trophy Centre business said he'd gone abroad. But he actually went to lie low at a friend's home. A neighbour of Torbett's said: "I am not all that surprised by the allegations. "We always thought there was something funny going on because of all the young boys that used to visit him. "One lad called so often we thought he was his son." Former boys' club chairman Hugh Birt, who quit in 1986 after the Celtic board failed to probe sex claims, said: "I congratulate the Record for finally bringing this scandal out into the open. "I can only hope that other boys who were abused will come forward." Police confirmed they want to quiz Torbett. A spokesman for the Strathclyde force said: "A complaint has been made regarding claims of indecency at Celtic Boys' Club." Police plea to victims Daily Record 14/08/1996 Detectives have appealed to victims of Torbett to come forward. DCI John Boyd said: "All credit to the Record for exposing the matter. "These are allegations of a criminal nature and we would appeal to any victims to come forward and make a statement. "They will be treated with the strictest confidence." One victim said last night: "I cried when I read what he'd done to Alan Brazil, John McCluskley and David Gordon. "It brought back memories of what he did to me and others. "He would invite us to his house and try to touch us up." And he revealed why he thought nobody had come forward before now. He said: "He promised us dreams of playing for Celtic and we didn't want to throw away that chance." Last night Torbett's Mercedes was at his Trophy Centre shop in Glasgow. A member of staff claimed: "Mr Torbett is on holiday. I don't know where." CHAIRMAN'S VOW TO FIND OUT TRUTH Daily Record 14/08/1996 Iain Ferguson The boss of Celtic Boys Club has pledged to do everything he can to expose the truth about sex abuse at the club. Speaking exclusively to the Record last night, chairman Tony McGuinness admitted the rumours have plagued the organisation for years. And he promised parents of boys who play for the club: "We will do everything we can to help police with their inquiries. "I don't know if anyone has been guilty of any offence but what I do know is that the last five years or so have been hell for those of us trying to run the club. "We have heard all these stories and there has been lots of gossip - but now I know there will be a full and proper investigation. On Monday night Torbett was "excused" from his duties as co-ordinator of the Boys Club after the Record exclusively broke the news. Police confirmed they would be interviewing him in connection with alleged incidents. Tony, who was a close friend of Parkhead legend Jock Stein, took over the reins of the Boys Club in 1991. His appointment followed the resignation of then general manager Frank Cairney after an alleged incident during a trip to the USA. Cairney quit on returning from the States but no further action was taken after a police investigation. Tony said: "At last the truth about what has gone on - if anything - over all these years will be known. This is what we as a club want. "We will now be able to concentrate on providing a good facility for youngsters who want to play football without worrying about gossip. "And I assure all parents that Celtic Boys Club is a well run club which their boys will enjoy playing for." Sick Cairney stretched across the front of his white Cortina and began to fondle me Daily Record 14/08/1996 ANNA SMITH, IAIN FERGUSON and CHARLES BEATON A former player told last night how sick Celtic Boys Club Godfather Frank Cairney molested him in the front of his car. Scott Sinclair told how the 56-year-old slid his hand across as he was driving his white Ford Cortina. Scott said: "He put his hand across and started to fondle my private parts outside my trousers. "The guys in the back were silent, but they knew what was going on." Scott, now 26, was a goalie with the prestigious boys club side. He said Cairney, who had the power to make or break a promising football career, would insist on taking boys in his car to away matches - and that all their bags had to go in the boot. He added: "The worst thing was to sit in the front seat beside him. "What would happen was you would see the hand going over to the passenger's groin area. He would start to fondle about with him." "I could see this from the back of the car, and nobody wanted to go into the front of the car, but it was just your luck. "A couple of times I had to travel in the front." Scott says he and others were too terrified to tell in case they would be thrown out of Celtic. He said: "We didn't want to say anything. We were only 14. "We were too scared because you felt if you did he would turn round and hit you or you would get thrown out of Celtic Boys' Club. "It is probably the best and biggest organised club in Scotland. We got to go to the stadium and meet the players. "You didn't want to get pushed out of it." He added: "The players would turn up for a match and Frank would ask if anybody wanted a lift. "We would say it was OK we would make our own way - then he would just pick a few people. "I would never go home with him on my own. "I have heard about boys going home and he would be touching him between the legs. It was common talk in the dressing room what he did." At first Scott was so desperate to play for the Parkhead side he did nothing about it. "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." But soon Scott felt so uneasy he had to leave. He said: "I didn't like being in Frank Cairney's company and he was the boss of my team. I played for him for six or eight months, but I just didn't like talking to him or being near him." Cairney was involved in an incident when a Celtic Boys Club side were touring in America. Local police were called but nothing happened as the boy allegedly involved made no complaint. But bachelor Cairney resigned as boys club general manager after the trip. Another ex-player told how his career was wrecked after Cairney sexually assaulted him on a trip to a Highland hotel. Even after 17 years, the father-of-three shook as he told of the disgusting attack by the evil supremo parents and the club trusted. Jack - not his real name - said: "I knew him for nearly two years and nothing happened at all until we went to Aviemore. "We were on an outing and we all stayed at the Osprey Hotel. "On the second night he asked me into his room. I went there and he started asking me about any girlfriends I had, and if I was a virgin. "He then put his hand down my shorts. I removed his hand and went out of the door crying. "I didn't tell anyone about it and later that season I walked off the pitch as a mark of rebellion." Jack kept his secret shame until his father was on his deathbed. He said: "I told my father when he was dying. I couldn't bear to tell anyone else." And he revealed a chilling meeting he had with Cairney soon after he was molested. He said: "Frank Cairney asked me to meet him when there were rumours about one of the boys and Jim Torbett having a homosexual relationship. "He asked me to try to get it played down or quashed." Torbett is under police investigation after the Record this week revealed his attacks on boy players. EXPOSED Daily Record 14/08/1996 Anna Smith Charles Beaton and Iain Ferguson A second Celtic Boys' Club boss molested youngsters. For 20 years Frank Cairney - known as the Godfather of Celtic youth - abused innocent young hopefuls who adored him. The 56-year-old bachelor has always emphatically denied all sex claims. But after the Daily Record's explosive revelations about Cairney's pal Jim Torbett, dozens of ex-Celtic boys have contacted us about their former general manager. And they all tell a sordid tale of the man who was the mentor to many Celtic greats. One, now 32, said: "He put his hand down my shorts and started to fondle me. "I left his room crying." Another ex-Celtic boy, 26-year-old Scott Sinclair, came forward after the Record's expose. The former goalkeeper told how Cairney regularly fondled boys in the front of his white Ford Cortina. Scott said: "Frank wouldn't let you travel with your bag. It always had to go in the boot." Calls have jammed the Record switchboard to tell of abuse by Cairney from more than 20 years ago. Cairney quit as general manager following an incident while he was on tour with Celtic Boys' Club in America. New York police had been called in after an incident involving a young Celtic boy. But the case was closed because the boy did not make an official complaint to the Sexual Assault and Victims Unit. At the same time, Cairney also resigned from the coaching staff at Parkhead. He said at the time: "I'm no bogey man." But the Record can reveal that the man who was the most respected figure in youth football, was a sick pervert who preyed on youngsters. When Tommy Burns was appointed Parkhead boss in 1994, he tried to bring his mentor Frank Cairney back to Parkhead. But the move to end his three year exile was blocked by Celtic chief Fergus McCann. Last night at his home in Viewpark, Uddingston, Cairney said: "I have nothing whatsoever to say. Speak to my lawyers." Tommy Burns was also at Cairney's house to give him his support. 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." Celtic defends action after sex abuse claims The Scotsman 15/08/1996 DANI GARAVELLI CELTIC last night confirmed that its board of directors had referred a complaint about an ex-boys' club official currently at the centre of sex abuse allegations to the police some time ago. The managing director, Fergus McCann, spoke out after fresh claims were made against Frank Cairney, formerly managing director of Celtic Boys' Club. The allegations, published in the Daily Record, have been directed not only at Mr Cairney, but also at another boys' club official, Jim Torbett. Last night, Mr McCann pledged that any further complaints which were made to the club would again be forwarded to Strathclyde Police. He said: "Celtic does not believe in trial by newspapers, or trial by Celtic. We live in a society of laws and the way to deal with wrong- doing is by reporting and encouraging reporting of any accusations to the proper authorities, having them investigated and hopefully, if valid, prosecuted. "Some time ago, a complaint made against Mr Cairney was referred by us to the police." Mr McCann added: "If anyone has a valid complaint, we would encourage them to take it to the proper authorities for action when justified." An investigation into allegations concerning Mr Cairney is believed to have been dropped because of lack of evidence. He strenuously denied the claims, but resigned from his position. When his friend, Tommy Burns, was appointed Celtic manager in 1994, there was a suggestion he was once again gaining a foothold. More recent allegations against Mr Torbett and Mr Cairney have been made this week and have again been denied. Last night, Mr Burns said of Mr Cairney: "He has my backing and I'm sure he will have the backing of several members of the first team who played for Frank at the under-16 level. "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 in his team. "I fully sympathise with the people who are making these complaints and I fully back the club's stance in welcoming the police inquiry." The club said it was not prepared to take sides on the matter. Mr McCann said: "While I sympathise with Tommy Burns' personal position as a friend of Mr Cairney, the club cannot condone, defend or take sides in a matter which is the subject of a criminal complaint." On Monday, Celtic Boys' Club said that in the interests of all parties, it had suspended Mr Torbett, whose duties were administrative, pending a full investigation, while Strathclyde Police confirmed they were looking into allegations of indecency dating back "a number of years". Neither Mr Cairney nor Mr Torbett could last night be contacted for comment. Hotel bed ordeal of Celt boy John - No end to Celts boys sex abuse Daily Record 15/08/1996 EXCLUSIVE ANNA SMITH, IAIN FERGUSON and CHARLES BEATON Another victim of sex beast Frank Cairney poured out his heart to the Record yesterday. Former soccer starlet John Taylor, now 37, said Cairney, then boss of Celtic Boys' Club, lured him to a hotel room in Aviemore. But as they lay on separate beds watching television Cairney tried to pounce on the 15-year-old. His story is the latest in the sordid saga the Record has revealed this week. Our switchboard has been flooded with calls about abuse by Cairney, 56, and Boys' Club official Jim Torbett all week. John, originally from the north of Scotland but now a London businessman spoke about his abuse by Cairney yesterday. He revealed: "We were at the hotel and there was only me and him in the room. "I didn't understand what was going on. "We were in a twin room and we were watching the football highlights and he started playing with himself through his trousers. "The next minute he got off the bed and came towards me and started touching me. "I freaked out and said I had to get back to my parents and he backed off." John said it was not the first time Cairney had tried to abuse him. An earlier incident had taken place while they were staying in a Glasgow hotel. John said: "We were in the Albany Hotel during the European Youth Championships, which we eventually won, and he tried to sexually assault me. "He lay me on the bed and started touching me through my clothes. I started to freak out and make a fuss and he backed off. "He was really nice to me and changed the subject as if nothing happened. "I just got out of the room on the pretence of phoning my parents and he let me go." John regrets he hasn't spoken out about Cairney before now. He claimed: "I've only told three people before now - my wife and two mates." And he added: "Perhaps if I had said something earlier it would have prevented him doing what he did to me to other boys. "I am glad this is now out in the open." Victim read of scandal on the Internet Daily Record 15/08/1996 A sex abuse victim from America has contacted detectives probing the Celtic Boys' Club scandal. And the man claims he was brutalised by a team official when he played for the club. The call from the States came after the man read the Record's shock revelations on the Internet. He emigrated to America as a young man after playing for the Boys' Club. Yesterday, as detectives set up a special inquiry team to investigate, DC John Boyd confirmed: "We have received information from a man in America regarding incidents that happened many years ago." Police are amazed at the response to the Record's exclusive story about perverts Torbett and Cairney. DCI Boyd said: "We are very encouraged by the response. Former Celtic boys who are now grown men have turned up at the police station to tell us of their experience. Some date back 30 years ago. Others are more recent. "We are very grateful for the help from the Daily Record, who are encouraging victims to get in touch with us. "We are taking statements from each and every one of them, and we would appeal to anyone else who has been a victim to come forward." Celtic Boys' Club toured America almost every year, with Kearney, New Jersey a favourite spot. Cairney resigned following an alleged incident involving a young Celt on one of these trips in 1991. The boy was staying at the home of a Scot, who called in New Jersey police. They investigated - but the case was closed because the boy didn't make a formal complaint. Cairney quit the club, then claimed his resignation was given before the trip - and it was for business reasons. At the time he said: "I'm no bogey man. It's all gossip and innuendo. You will have a hell of a job producing someone to back up these rumours." YOU MUST SPEAK UP, SAYS McCANN Daily Record 15/08/1996 Celtic supremo Fergus McCann has urged anyone who may be a victim of Cairney and Torbett to come forward. He said last night: "If anyone has a valid complaint, we would encourage them to take it to the authorities for action if justified." Meanwhile, Celtic team boss Tommy Burns claimed he was misquoted over Cairney in yesterday's Daily Record. We quoted Burns as saying: "He has the whole of my backing and that of Celtic Football Club to a man." Burns claims he actually said: "He has my backing and I'm sure he will have the backing of several first-team members who played for Frank." Record Editor Terry Quinn said: "I can understand why Mr Burns now wants to make the distinction from what he originally said to a Record reporter. "However, I stand by the reporter's version of his statement made in front of a witness who is not a member of staff of this newspaper." Former boys' club official denies sex abuse claims The Scotsman 16/08/1996 DANI GARAVELLI THE former general manager of Celtic Boys' Club last night issued a denial that he sexually abused young football players while in a position of trust. In a statement published through his solicitors, Frank Cairney said he was heartened by the support shown to him since the allegations surfaced in the Daily Record earlier this week. Mr Cairney spoke out 24 hours after Celtic confirmed they had passed a complaint about him to Strathclyde Police some time ago. It is understood the move came after an alleged incident during a boys' club tour in the United States in 1991. The police investigation was dropped because of lack of evidence, but Mr Cairney resigned from the club. The statement put out yesterday by Glasgow-based Tilston MacLaurin solicitors said: "Frank Cairney is naturally distressed that allegations have been made that he sexually abused young boys while he was attached to Celtic Boys' Club. The allegations are untrue and wholly unfounded in fact." The statement said Mr Cairney had been appointed youth development coach at Celtic Football Club by the late Jock Stein in 1970 and that he had remained there until 1991. It claimed that it was at Stein's direct request that Mr Cairney had accepted the additional post of Celtic Boys' Club general manager in 1976. "Mr Cairney has been heartened by the support, both public and private, which has been expressed by so many players, past and present, and who are prepared to vouch for his integrity and his conduct, while they were under his supervision," the statement added. Jim Torbett, another boys' club official, was also the subject of allegations of sexual abuse made in the Daily Record. He was suspended from his position, which involved administrative duties, on Monday, pending further inquiries, while Strathclyde Police confirmed they were investigating allegations of indecency dating back "a number of years". Neither Celtic nor Celtic Boys' Club last night commented on Mr Cairney's statement. The Parkhead dream maker who preyed on innocence Daily Record 16/08/1996 ANNA SMITH, IAIN FERGUSON and CHARLES BEATON To a host of football superstars, Frank Cairney is the father figure who made their dreams come true. They would have walked through fire for the larger-than-life Celtic Boys' Club boss, who guided them on the road to stardom. But Cairney hid the darkest of secrets. And to the boys he abused, he's a pervert who turned their youthful dreams into nightmares. Since the Record's revelations about Cairney, many victims - now grown men - have phoned us in tears. Some talked openly for the first time about abuse that happened more than 20 years ago. And some have had the courage to go to the police. Yet some of Celtic's biggest names give Cairney unswerving support. When Tommy Burns was appointed manager in 1994, Frank Cairney was first to congratulate him. Burns describes the 56-year-old as "a fantastic help and a true friend". When Cairney was unmasked by the Record earlier this week, Burns rushed to his side. Sitting in his pal's living room, he stormed: "He has the whole of my backing." But the calls from boys who claimed Cairney terrorised them were still flooding in to the Daily Record. Hours after our story appeared, former boys' club player John Taylor told how Cairney tried to force him into sex acts in hotel rooms. Another ex-starlet told how Cairney touched his groin as he sat in the front seat of his car. The lad told him to "f*** off" and Cairney thumped him in the chest. He added: "Another time, on a tour to America, he punched me on the chest and the arm. He really bullied the boys. We were all scared of him." A third victim said: "Frank Cairney abused me over two and a half years. It screwed up my whole life. "He used to get me after I took a shower at training. I was too scared to do anything about it, and I have never spoken about this until now." Big Frank - he is well over six feet tall and built in proportion - was dumped as Celtic Boys' Club General Manager in 1991. It came after an alleged incident involving a young player on an American tour. Months after his 21-year link with Celtic was severed, a group of past and current Celtic stars organised a tribute evening at a Glasgow church hall. One man who was there, but asked not to be named, said: "It was like This is Your Life. "There is no doubt that a lot of very famous Celtic players hold Frank Cairney in the highest regard." Former boys' club player Neil Watt, 34, who went on to play for Stirling Albion, was fulsome in his praise of Cairney. He said: "I can't speak highly enough about the guy. "He instilled discipline in the boys that has remained with us." On Wednesday of this week, Tommy Burns again sprang to Cairney's defence, saying: " I'm sure he will have the backing of several members of the first team who played for him at under-16 level. "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." Ex-boss Lou Macari recalled the fierce loyalty Cairney inspired. He said: "The first team squad and I were asked along to present trophies at the annual boys' club prizegiving. "I arrived and there was no sign of any of the players. "I started phoning round, and they all told me there was no way they would be attending because big Frank had been forced out of the club. "I was left to hand over every trophy and medal myself. "But there was no way the players would budge." AN ABUSER AND A LIAR Daily Record 17/08/1996 EXCLUSIVE ANNA SMITH and IAIN FERGUSON This is the picture that proves former Celtic Boys' Club boss Frank Cairney is a liar. Yesterday, he told a local newspaper that he didn't know Scott Sinclair. After accusing Scott and other boys of "lying", he claimed his "excellent record system" showed the young goalie only "turned up at two games". But the Record can reveal that Scott was a top player with the boys' club and even scooped a man-of-the-match award in a Scottish Cup Final. Scott, who earlier this week told the Record how Cairney would fondle boys in his car, said yesterday: "I can't believe the rubbish Cairney is talking. "If he keeps records of all the games, he'll know I had six successive shut- outs in the under-16s in the 1984 season. "He knew me all right and I have medals to prove I played a lot more than twice for the club." Scott gave us this picture which shows Cairney and him with other boys' club stars, including Tosh McKinlay, Gerry Creaney, Tony Shepherd and John Traynor. Sick Cairney also claimed former general manager Jim Torbett broke down at an emotional meeting and ADMITTED interfering with young players. He went on to tell how Celtic supremo Jock Stein physically booted Torbett out of the boardroom. But what the 56-year-old FAILED to reveal is that HE moved to lure Torbett back to the Parkhead club after Stein left to manage Scotland. One former boys' club official, who did not want to be named, told the Record: "After Jock left, Frank Cairney asked Jim Torbett to come back as a fundraiser. "That was Torbett's foot firmly back in the door." The Record revealed this week how Torbett AND Cairney preyed on young boys for nearly 25 years. In yesterday's interview, Cairney, who denied all allegations about him, tried to put the blame on Torbett. He said Torbett broke down at a meeting attended by boys' club officials and denied doing anything to boys, claiming it was the boys who touched him. But, according to Cairney, when Torbett was told they would summon the boys, he admitted the offences. Last night two former officials of the boys club denied attending the meetings. And Cairney refused to comment to the Record when we asked why he invited a self-confessed sexual abuser back to the club. 'I couldn't go in the front door and I knew why' Scotland on Sunday 18/08/1996 CAIRNEY'S SIDE THE man who began his Celtic career ferrying wee Jimmy Johnston to games and ended when he was accused of sexual indecency says he is full of bitterness and regret. Big Frank Cairney claimed yesterday that he had never improperly touched or abused any boy in any form or fashion and that he regretted allowing a man who had confessed to him that he had assaulted 14-year-old players to continue to work for Celtic Boys' Club. Cairney - who faces accusations that he abused a young player in New Jersey in 1991 - was the boys' club general manager when Jim Torbett, who had been kicked out by Jock Stein for interfering with youngsters, was brought back in to help with club finances. He admits that he said and did nothing about it. Cairney acknowledges that Stein - who had left when Torbett wheedled his way back into the club - would not have let him anywhere near Celtic Park in an official capacity. Cairney claims that in 1977, at a meeting in a social club in London Road, in front of himself and several members of the committee, Torbett broke down in tears and confessed. "To Jim Torbett's credit he phoned Jock Stein and admitted the offences," Cairney recalls. "Jock called a meeting at Celtic Park, which he chaired. He took all the financial statements off him and led him to the door. Torbett started crying. Jock's words were: 'Never mind the fucking Hollywood stuff' and opened the door and said to him 'If it wasn't for these boys you'd be going to jail for a long while'. He opened the door and kicked him in the backside right out." He continues: "He was cast into the wilderness. The story that was given out was that he was going back to work full time with the Strathclyde Association of Youth Clubs." Yesterday, Cairney claimed that several of the boys, including John McCluskey, told him of the abuse but he had kept their confidences because that is the way they wanted it. Despite this, Torbett was quickly able to re-establish himself at the boys' club and at Celtic Park. At first Torbett was only to be a fund-raiser but he soon began, once again, coaching. "My attitude was one of great apprehension," Cairney says. "Jock Stein would never have permitted it, he would never have been a party to it. Jim Torbett's just had five years with the Celtic Boys' Club - very high profile at Celtic Park. I'm away sitting at the back of the stand having raised millions of pounds for the club, having done a tremendous job for 21 years while Torbett's in the presidential box with two seats." In 1991, following the US allegations, Cairney was cut adrift by Celtic. "They just annihilated me. I don't know to this day the extent of the allegations against me." Cairney does concede that when they were first made he should have called in the authorities to investigate, rather than try to cover it up. "I should have, but I didn't know the seriousness of the allegation, I still don't. I wasn't welcome at Celtic Park following that. The allegations were never put to me by the board or the manager. But I couldn't go in the front door and I knew why." Cairney, 56, a bachelor, denies that he is homosexual or that he has ever sexually abused any of his boys. He claims not to remember Scott Sinclair, who told the Record that Cairney had sexually assaulted him. "I have never improperly touched, in any form or fashion, or abused any boy in any form or fashion. Yes, there were shows of affection, there were shows of joy, there was hugging, but there was nothing improper. I'm an affectionate big man and so are all the players. They have no reservations or inhibitions. But nothing shameful or indecent happened." THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE Scotland on Sunday 18/08/1996 Celtic Boys' Club appealed to the dreams of a generation of football hopefuls, but they have only made the tabloids in a seamy tale of manipulation and abuse, report AUDREY GILLAN and RON McKAY IT ALL begins in a shrine, the walls adorned with artefacts and relics, all carefully arranged and devoutly displayed, past which the faithful shuffled and nourished their own dreams of immortality. Here, paradise seemed tangible, just a short trip away. But the changing faces who gaped in awe at this display of devotion were gullible young boys who worshipped a team. They stared at the display of shirts and photographs, testimonials and autographs and believed the man who told them that they could look down from the window, across the city to the football ground in the East End and take all that lay before them. Jim Torbett was 20 when he set up Celtic Boys' Club in 1966, seeking permission from the then manager Jock Stein to use the team's name. He was only a few years older than the lads who trooped through his living room. Boys who left believing, as he did, in dreams, certain that they were special, marked out for fame. Now 30 years on, those dreams have become nightmares for some, grown men marked forever by the shy but enthusiastic man who took them to the heights and then the depths. John McCluskey is, in the unimpeachable judgment of former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas, the best young player he ever saw. Last week, McCluskey -who has fought drink, addiction and his own demons - was sitting in an upmarket Glasgow hotel, sipping cappuccino and waiting to make a statement to police that Torbett had sexually assaulted him. He had been so badly affected by the Dunblane massacre, he said, that he felt he had to make a stand. Just two days before, the Daily Record had spread across five pages allegations that the boys' club founder had abused him. His allegation was supported by Ally Brazil, the former Ipswich and Spurs striker, another graduate of the Celtic academy, who claimed that Torbett kissed and fondled him when he was only 14. Within hours of the story hitting the streets, and the newspaper setting up its abuse hotline, dozens of calls had come in and another man - Frank Cairney, the man who had been brought in by Jock Stein to get rid of the smears and innuendoes which for years had hung around the boys' club - was also being named as an abuser. Whispers that something was not quite right with Celtic Boys' Club had been around since its inception. Some boys passed through the ranks unscathed, ducking slaps on the bum and over-enthusiastic spongings when they lay injured on the pitch. But others are alleged to have suffered at the hands of a man who abused his position in pursuit of paedophile perversions. It seemed some of the weaker boys, those with less skill, less certain of a place on the first team, those with less parental guidance, became easy prey. They would be enticed back to Torbett's house with promises of meals and ice cream and sometimes less innocent pursuits would follow. When Fergus McCann finally arrived in the halo of television lights at Parkhead in 1994 he knew that he faced a formidable task: rebuilding a stadium, a team and the belief of a support which had seen years of failed promises and dismal performance. What he did not expect -by way of an anonymous letter sent to him almost as soon as he was through the door - was a disturbing report of years of abuse at the boys' club. Officially, the club was entirely separate from Celtic but McCann appreciated that it was inextricably bound to Parkhead in the minds of the public, and indeed in the hearts of some of the players and former players - like Peter Grant, Paul McStay and Tommy Burns - who had graduated from it to the big time of professional football. McCann quickly went about trying to establish the truth, or not, of the accusations. He called in Jim Torbett and asked him to meet Celtic's lawyers and confirm or deny, in an affidavit which could be passed to the police, the accusations. Torbett repeatedly refused. He asked Ally Brazil and John McCluskey to make their allegations formal. Brazil refused at that stage. McCluskey agreed, but only if his statement was not passed to the police. Ironically, McCann was playing out, more than three years on, a sad little tableau which had occurred at Parkhead under the old regime, ruled over by the Kelly and White families. In 1991 the boys' club had been to Kearney, New Jersey - an annual tour to the Irish part of the state with players staying at the homes of Catholic families -and one boy, no longer at Celtic but now a professional player in Scotland, had alleged to his hosts and to his own family that he had been assaulted by the team's general manager, Frank Cairney. The boy's father took him to Celtic Park to have it out with Liam Brady who was then only months in the job as team manager. The club's chief scout John Kelman was also present. It was Brady's first serious and most affecting problem in a troubled time at Parkhead which did not last long. He listened to the boy, believed him, and insisted to the board that Cairney had to be removed, not only from the boys' club but from any association with the main football club. So, overnight, the man who was used to having his run of the place and the ear of the management, was cast out. It was agreed, by Brady, the boy and his parents and the then Celtic board, that the police would not be informed. The young player was assured that the alleged incident would have no effect on his future career at the club. However, signed statements were taken by Celtic's lawyers from the four adults who had been on the New Jersey trip. All were sworn to silence. Cairney was now away from the football club and its nursery - business commitments was the given reason - but Jim Torbett was back playing a major role, first as a fund-raiser then back with the boys' club. Torbett had maintained his connections with Celtic. Pre- McCann board member Kevin Kelly, still honorary president of the boys' club, is a fellow director of Torbett's company The Trophy Centre, and current board member Jack McGinn is an employee. It is not clear why a man widely regarded as a child abuser was allowed back into a position of responsibility at the boys' club. Torbett had been kicked out in 1976 after being confronted by the committee and, according to Frank Cairney's account of the meeting, had broken down in tears and confessed. He was then summoned to a meeting with Jock Stein, at the end of which the big man physically kicked him out of the door. And just to ensure that the boys' club stayed clean the legendary Celtic manager brought in another man, Hugh Birt, as chairman of its committee. Birt claims he was concerned about the behaviour of both Cairney and Torbett - who wheedled his way back in after Stein's death - and raised the matter with the club. Before he knew it Birt was asked to resign. When he stood his ground and refused, he says, Celtic withdrew his ticket to the directors' box and he had no option but to get out. In spite of all these troubles, the boys' club, from humble beginnings in a hall in Maryhill, had become a great success and was now seen as a crucial feeder of players for the senior club. It used Celtic's training ground at Barrowfield for coaching and matches and became one of the country's most successful nurseries: its more famous graduates include current manager Tommy Burns, George McCluskey, Roy Aitken, Charlie Nicholas, Paul McStay, and of the present side Peter Grant and Simon Donnelly. But although the boys' club was hugely successful, rumours still continued to surround it. Former players began to talk to the press, although none would go on record or make a formal complaint to the police. The New Jersey incident in 1991 was successfully managed by the club and it seemed that nothing tangible would ever be proved. And then, in 1994, the new regime swept into Celtic Park and the rumours flared up again. This time, the chairman was determined that nothing should be kicked under the carpet. As McCann's investigation got under way, a lone Celtic fanatic Gerry McSherry, who resented the arrival of the new board, appeared on a radio programme to question the transfer of a young player. Within days he had received a number of calls suggesting untoward behaviour in the boys club. After months of investigation, McSherry began touting what he called the Paedo Files round various newspapers and television companies and claims now to be under contract to the Record. Last week, as the story developed from allegations against Torbett - who was suspended from the boys' club six days ago - to claims that Cairney fondled boys as they sat in the front seat of his car, many men with long associations with the club began to grow uneasy. Former players backed Big Frank whom they knew as a "father figure" and Burns rushed out to Cairney's terraced home in Viewpark, Lanarkshire, after receiving a call from the man he considers a close friend. Leaving his house the manager was reported to have said: "He [Cairney] has the whole of my backing and that of Celtic Football Club to a man." The following morning Burns must have been wishing he had bitten his tongue. Incandescent at his manager's assumption that the club would back Cairney, McCann issued a statement. "While I sympathise with Tommy Burns' personal position as a friend of Mr Cairney, the club cannot condone or defend or take sides in a matter which involves a criminal complaint," he said. Burns himself claimed that he had been misquoted and what he had in fact said was: "He has my backing and I'm sure he will have the backing of several members of the first team who played for Frank at under-16 level." Meanwhile, the allegations against Torbett went unchallenged. After hiding out at the east end home of William and Andrew Gilbert - two young men who had played for the boys' club - he is said to have left the country. Yesterday, their mother Susan said that Torbett was a close family friend - they sometimes travelled abroad with him and the boys' club - and that the allegations made against him were rubbish. DCI John Boyd at London Road police station, who has four officers investigating the allegations, said that his team had been taking calls from a number of people who had not gone through the Daily Record. He added that the inquiry was at an early stage and that no arrests were imminent. At Celtic Park, the management is trying to keep its head down and stop the scandal interfering with play. Footballers like Peter Grant and Tosh McKinlay - who came through the boys' club route - have nothing to say on the record. And the boy who made the complaint against Cairney? He's playing his cards close to his chest. The chants from the terraces and jibes from his opponents would no doubt be too much to take. COVER-UP Daily Record 19/08/1996 ANNA SMITH AND IAIN FERGUSON Celtic's former board were part of an astonishing cover-up over abuse allegations against Frank Cairney. They agreed a shameful deal that allowed the boys' club boss to avoid a police probe. Today FOUR former Celtic Boys' Club officials break their silence about the scandal on a trip to America. The Record can reveal: Cairney was told police wouldn't be called if he quit the club immediately. Celtic chairman Jack McGinn allowed Cairney's written resignation to say it was for `business reasons'. The boy's parents were also sworn to secrecy. But now we can reveal the truth behind the pact struck with Cairney at an airport cafe in Boston five years ago. Former boys' club chairman Jim McNally, who was on the trip, said: "Any cover-up was not at our level. "The other officials and myself have come forward because we have acted in good faith throughout. "It has been painful and taken a great toll on all of our lives. But we want the truth to come out and we're prepared to stand up and be counted." We told last week how former boys' club bosses Cairney and Jim Torbett preyed on young lads. Shameful airport pact haunts us after 5 years Daily Record 19/08/1996 ANNA SMITH AND IAIN FERGUSON The secret deal which protected a sex pervert for five years was struck in an American airport cafe. Hours before Celtic Boys' Club were due to fly home, five men sat around a table at bustling Boston airport. There they sealed the shameful pact that has haunted them since. Frank Cairney - the man who WAS Celtic Boys' Club - agreed to resign and a dingy chapter in Celtic's history was born. A young player had claimed he had been touched sexually by Cairney while in bed. Now the other four men who were part of that airport deal, former chairman Jim McNally and officials Bill Gilfillan, John Gallacher and Willie Hampson, have decided to speak about it for the first time. They talked to the Daily Record which last week lifted the lid off the sex abuse scandal at the boys club. Jim McNally, speaking for all four, said: "Apart from sworn statements to Celtic and the police, none of us has ever spoken about what happened. "It has been painful and has taken a great toll on all of our lives." Players had been staying in the homes of ex-pat Celtic fans in Kearney, New Jersey, in 1991 for a showpiece tournament. Two were living with exiled Scot, Pat Brannigan. Jim said: "Pat Brannigan told me that a boy had made a serious allegation against Frank Cairney. I interviewed the boy after Pat Brannigan came for me very early in the morning. "Pat and his wife Diane were there. I asked a second boy who was also staying at Pat's house to leave the room. "The first lad was very distraught. He repeated the allegation of a sexual nature against Frank Cairney. "He said it happened in Pat Brannigan's basement where the boys were sleeping. "Frank had been staying at a hotel nearby. But it wouldn't have been unusual for him to be in the house because he always went around to where the boys were staying, to make sure they were all right. "Initially I found the whole thing hard to believe. I had never experienced anything like that before in my life. "I honestly thought and hoped it was horseplay that had got out of hand a wee bit. Immediately I talked to the other three officials. "I told them what had happened. We were visiting a theme park that day and I got the senior players together and told them what had happened. They already knew. "I asked them if they would keep their eye on this lad until we got things sorted out." He continued: "We decided that we would talk to Frank Cairney and we did. He very forcibly, strenuously denied the allegation. He was very angry. He said nothing happened. "While we were talking about it, Pat Brannigan arrived and said he had spoken to his lawyer and the police. "I also spoke to Pat's lawyer about the procedure and what we would do. "I asked him what would happen if the boy made a formal complaint. And what he told me was the real shocker of the whole thing. "He said that Frank Cairney would be charged and that the boy, and the other boy who was staying in the house, would be put in protective custody." Distraught Jim and the officials were terrified to bring in police in case the boys were taken away from them. He said:"I was absolutely shattered about that. There was no way I could have landed at Glasgow Airport and told two sets of parents that their boys weren't there. "After that meeting I immediately contacted Celtic, but it was the Glasgow Fair and I had a terrible job trying to get a hold of people. "I tried Jack McGinn, Jimmy Farrell (Celtic directors), but could not get them. I then phoned Sean McMullen and Bobby Creilly, two other boys' club officials. "I told them what had happened and I told them of my fear that the boys would be taken into protective custody and that this wasn't for me or even the boy to decide what they should do. I felt his parents should make that decision. "This was the Thursday and we were due home on the Sunday. "We also booked three tickets to be held just in case the boy wanted home early. "I spoke to the lad at regular intervals and he opted to stay at Brannigan's. He seemed to be coping. "He continued to play in the tournament. I've always admired the boy and how he coped with all of this. "He was only 16 at the time. He actually started officially playing for Celtic on the Monday after he returned home." Jim McNally didn't call in the police, but Pat Brannigan may have brought them in. Jim said: "If the police interviewed the boy I wasn't aware of it. I think Pat Brannigan felt we weren't handling it correctly. But the reason we handled it the way we did was because I didn't believe it was up to me to decide what to do. "Eventually there was a meeting with the boy's parents which Creilly and McMullen had been trying to arrange . "We left Kennedy airport, New York, on Sunday, but still there was no word. We stopped over at Boston and this is where it all happened. "There was a message at Boston for me to phone home. "I was told the meeting had concluded and the outcome was that the boy's parents were quite happy to leave the matter in Celtic's hands, provided Frank Cairney resigned from the boys' club on returning. "Myself, Willie Hampson, Bill Gilfillan and John Gallacher, the four officials, met in the cafe at Boston airport and we told Frank Cairney what we had been advised. "He agreed to resign when he went home. We arrived at Glasgow and went straight to the park. "Jack McGinn organised a meeting at 11am with Frank Cairney and a meeting with me at 2pm. "At that meeting, he gave me a copy of Frank Cairney's resignation which said he had resigned because he had got promotion in his company and the pressure of work. "We were still concerned that we weren't quite covered, so we individually consulted lawyers and collectively spoke to a QC for advice. "He asked if we could produce any more boys who could quote incidents from anywhere at any time. But we knew we couldn't do that." The deal they had to be part of has left them sad, jaundiced men. All have since left Celtic Boys' Club. Jim added: "The boy told me what happened. I cannot say what happened. "But the parents wanted the boy to get on with his career and get on with his life, once they had been given assurances he was coping." He added: "We were never sworn to secrecy. The boy asked us not to talk about it and we respected his wishes." Club hotline for victims Celtic last night set up a counselling service to provide support for families struggling to cope with the trauma of the Boys' Club revelations. Announcing the hotline, chairman Fergus McCann said: "Celtic Football Club has been receiving many calls from people and families in distress over the alleged incidents. "In addition to asking people to report allegations to the police, it is obvious many need advice of trained specialists." The support and advice Hotline opens today and will run for a week between noon and midnight. It is costing Celtic pounds 5000. McCann also offered his support to current officials of the Boys Club. He added: "It is a great pity their good work should be tarnished by these alleged incidents." Boys' Club chairman Tony McGuinness said: "The hotline is a very welcome gesture." Lorraine Rochford of Network Scotland, who have selected the specialists, added: "Celtic Football Club have to be commended for providing this service." HOW WE EXPOSED SCANDAL The Daily Record exclusively revealed the Celtic Boys' Club sex abuse scandal a week ago. In a series of exclusive stories, Scotland's No 1 newspaper unmasked Jim Torbett and Frank Cairney. We exposed how frightened young players were fondled by the club bosses they trusted. We revealed how Cairney lied to a local newspaper with claims he didn't know one of his victims. And we told how pervert Torbett was booted out of the club - only to be allowed to return years later. After the Record's sensational reports, Torbett was again kicked out by the boys' club. And detectives have confirmed that they plan to quiz the wealthy businessman. McCann: Nail the perverts Daily Record 21/08/1996 Celtic chief Fergus McCann yesterday spoke for the first time about the sex scandal that has rocked the boys' club. He was stunned by our revelations of abuse by former bosses Jim Torbett and Frank Cairney. McCann said: "If these people are guilty, I hope they get nailed." He is now to hold top-level talks in a bid to stop perverts preying on kids in sport. They'll hammer out ways of vetting volunteers. Long struggle to expose abuse at boys' clubs Scotland on Sunday 01/09/1996 Letters IN 'The Other Side of Paradise' (Focus Special, August 18), SoS stated that "as [Fergus] McCann's investigation got under way a lone Celtic fanatic, Gerry McSherry, who resented the arrival of the new board, appeared on a radio programme to question the transfer of a young player and within days he had received a number of calls suggesting untoward behaviour in the boys' club". In fact I appeared on a radio programme 20 months after Fergus McCann had initiated his investigation. The impression is that I launched my investigation at the same time as McCann had initiated his own and that mine was launched out of my resentment at "the arrival of the new board". I consider that implication extremely distasteful. The article states that "after months of investigation, McSherry began touting what he called The Paedo Files round various newspapers and television companies". The fact is I had taken my investigation as far as I could and sought to enlist the support of newspapers and television companies in order that the sexual abuse of children at Celtic Boys' Club entered the public domain and that the paedophiles involved be held accountable in a court. At no time did I 'tout' The Paedo Files. In addition, the article states that I claimed to be "under contract to the Record". It failed to mention the word "morally". I remain morally (not financially) contracted to the Daily Record. Gerry McSherry Glasgow Celtic pair's D-day Daily Record 13/09/1996 ANNA SMITH AND IAIN FERGUSON EXCLUSIVE Two officials at the centre of the Celtic Boys' Club scandal may face trial. Police probing claims of sexual abuse on young boys have sent a report to the procurator fiscal. A Daily Record probe exclusively revealed the claims made against boys' club founder Jim Torbett and former general manager Frank Cairney. Former Scotland international Alan Brazil alleged he had been molested 23 years ago. Two other ex-Celtic boys, John McCluskey and David Gordon, also claimed they were abused by Torbett in the 1970s. The Record also revealed allegations from other men who said they were abused by Frank Cairney, who resigned from the boys club five years ago after a trip to America. In the wake of the Record revelations, Jim Torbett was booted out by Celtic Boys' Club where he still held an administrative position. And it led to dozens of calls flooding into us from men claiming they had been abused. We passed our complete dossier to police. Celtic set up their own hotline to help counsel abuse victims, and received 154 calls in the first day. A spokesman for the procurator fiscal said yesterday: "A report has just been received and is under consideration." CHARGED! Daily Record 25/10/1996 EXCLUSIVE by Anna Smith, Iain Ferguson and Charles Beaton Two former officials of Celtic Boys' Club were yesterday charged with more than 20 cases of sexual assault. Frank Cairney, 56, and Jim Torbett, 47, face charges dating back several years. The move comes two months after the Record reported an alleged sex abuse scandal at the club. Torbett was a founder member of the boys' club but resigned during Jock Stein's reign as Celtic manager. He later returned in an administrative role at the nursery club. Cairney - a close friend of several Celtic stars, including Tommy Burns - resigned as general manager of the boys' club five years ago after a trip to America. He had been a senior official for 25 years. A police source told the Record: "Two men have been charged with a number of alleged assaults of a sexual nature involving members of the boys' club. "A further report will be sent to the procurator fiscal's office." It is understood some of the charges relate to incidents which took place in England, America and Canada. One is believed to involve an alleged assault against the son of a former top Celtic player. Other charges involve alleged assaults against an ex-Scotland star and against two former Celtic first team players. Torbett, of Beacons-field Road, Kelvinside, Glasgow, faces more than a dozen charges dating back almost 30 years. He arrived at London Road police station in Glasgow's east end shortly before 10.30 yesterday morning, accompanied by his lawyer, BBC commentator Jock Brown. He spent more than 40 minutes with detectives before being driven away in a blue Mercedes. Cairney, of Viewpark, Uddingston, Lanark-shire, faces several charges. He reported to the station minutes before 3pm with his lawyer, Alistair Cockburn, and spent 25 minutes there. Ex-Celtic worker was hate campaign victim The Scotsman 29/10/1996 KEITH McLEOD A FORMER Celtic Boys' Club general manager was the victim of a campaign of threats from a long-time fan of the club. Frank Cairney, 61, was hounded at his home and threatened in a series of malicious telephone calls from Gerald McSherry. Yesterday at Hamilton Sheriff Court, McSherry, 44, who had pleaded not guilty, admitted four charges, two of breach of the peace and two under the Telecommunications Act. McSherry, of Skye Road, Rutherglen, began his campaign on 1 December last year when he went to Mr Cairney's home at Elmbank Avenue, Uddingston, Lanarkshire. He began banging on doors including Mr Cairney's. In court, he admitted causing a breach of the peace by threatening Mr Cairney with violence and placing others in a state of fear and alarm. He also admitted causing a breach of the peace by telephoning Mr Cairney on occasions between 1 December, 1995, and 4 February, 1996, and threatening him. The other charges, under the Telecommunications Act, relate to two occasions on 11 and 12 March , when McSherry again contacted Mr Cairney. McSherry, who represented himself, was asked by Sheriff Vincent Canavan if he was adhering to his earlier not guilty plea. He replied: "Certainly not, I'm pleading guilty." As each charge was read out, McSherry replied "certainly guilty". Sheriff Canavan said he would defer sentence for background reports and to allow McSherry time to appoint a solicitor. But McSherry said he would not be appointing a solicitor, and, when told he would be able to speak in mitigation, he said: "I have no intention of saying anything in mitigation." Mr Cairney resigned his dual role at Celtic - general manager of Celtic Boys' Club and a coach at the senior club - in 1991 after a 21- year connection with the youth side. He said he could no longer devote his full attention to the club because of business commitments. McSherry was one of the most vociferous supporters of the previous Celtic board. He wrote letters of support to the media and defended family control of the club, describing the then directors as "men of vision", and attacking the so-called rebels who mounted a campaign to oust the board. Ex-Celtic Boys' Club official jailed in sex abuse case The Scotsman 10/01/1997 A FORMER official of Celtic Boys' Club has been jailed for three years for indecency involving a young boy. Neil Strachan interfered with the boy numerous times when the youngster was aged between five and seven. "I take this as an extremely serious case of abuse," Sheriff Andrew Bell told Strachan. "You were in a position of trust, he was brought to sleep at your house and I may add that the way in which you abused him was particularly disgusting and disgraceful." The sheriff said he had considered sending Strachan to the High Court to be sentenced but instead gave him the maximum sentence a sheriff can impose. He also imposed a 12-month supervised release order to protect children from Strachan when he gets out of jail. Strachan, 28, a married man, was a secretary of the Celtic Boys Club in Edinburgh for about eight months until his arrest last June. However, it is understood that his crime was connected neither to the club in Edinburgh nor to other allegations involving Celtic Boys' Club. Strachan admitted using lewd indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the boy on various occasions between July 1994 and June last year. The incidents took place at Strachan's then home at Telford Place. The court heard that his victim was the child of family friends who sometimes stayed at his house. On 20 June last year, he told his mother that Strachan had touched his private parts and, when questioned more, revealed further abuse. The mother called the police who interviewed Strachan. He admitted everything. Reports from both a psychiatrist and a psychologist were presented to the sheriff. The defence solicitor Alastair Duff said Strachan was getting help from the psychologist and suggested probation. Sheriff Bell added a condition to Strachan's release order making it compulsory for him to attend any counselling recommended by his social worker. Boys' club pervert gets 3 years Daily Record 10/01/1997 Stephen Rafferty A former official at a youth football club was jailed for three years yesterday for repeatedly molesting a young boy. Neil Strachan, a friend of the lad's parents, started preying on him when he was only FIVE. The abuse went on for two years. Strachan, 28, quit as secretary of Edinburgh-based Celtic East Boys Club after he was caught. He was convicted of a similar sex offence 12 years ago but kept his past secret. The boys' parents trusted Strachan, and let their son stay overnight at his home in Edinburgh. The abuse took place there, starting in 1994. Speaking exclusively to the Record last night, the victim's mum said: "People like Strachan should be castrated. "He abused our trust, and he deserved to go to jail." The boy's dad added: "Our son's schooling has suffered and he has developed a stutter. I hope Strachan gets a taste of his own medicine in prison." Police were called after the boy told his mum Strachan touched his private parts . He also described more abuse. At Edinburgh Sheriff Court, married man Strachan, formerly of Telford Place, Edinburgh, admitted lewd and libidinous practices. Sentencing him, Sheriff Andrew Bell said: "The abuse was particularly disgusting and disgraceful." Strachan will be supervised for a year after his release. As well as his boys club post, the pervert was a referee at juvenile matches. One ex-youth club worker said: "There were rumours about Strachan's past, but nothing definite. There won't be many tears shed for him." Celtic FC spokesman Peter McLean said Celtic East Boys Club were not affiliated in any way to Celtic Football Club or Glasgow- based Celtic Boys Club. In a separate case, Frank Cairney and Jim Torbett, former officials at the Celtic Boys Club in Glasgow, have been charged with more than 20 alleged sex assaults. Neil Strachan The Scotsman 11/01/1997 WE have been asked to point out that Neil Strachan, who featured in a report in The Scotsman yesterday after being jailed for indecency involving a young boy, was a member of Celtic East and not Celtic Boys' Club. Celtic East has no official connection to Celtic Football Club or Celtic Boys' Club. We are happy to make the clarification. Fine for phone threat Celt fan Daily Record 22/04/1997 A dad of three was yesterday fined pounds 100 for making menacing phone calls to the man at the centre of Celtic Boys' Club sex claims. Self-styled Celtic fans' leader Gerry McSherry, 44, had earlier admitted breach of the peace and alarming Frank Cairney, of Elmbank Avenue, Viewpark, Uddingston, Lanarkshire. Sentence had been deferred until yesterday at Hamilton Sheriff Court. The Crown accepted his plea of not guilty to banging on Cairney's door and making threatening phone calls. At the time, Joseph Hughes, defending, told the court McSherry, had acted bizarrely after being given information involving Celtic Boys' Club last October. The lawyer said: "He became obsessed in compiling research on the complaint and spent thousands of pounds on it. "Police have told me his information was of great assistance to them. "After the recent publicity involving his home address, the strain was too much for his wife. "I understand that she contacted a solicitor with a view to divorce." After being fined, McSherry pointed at a Record reporter and said: "You called me a phone pest. I am not a phone pest." Former Celtic Boys' Club official Cairney was recently charged with sex offences against young boys over a 30-year period.
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