In a recent article in the Scottish Daily Mail journalist Anna Smith told readers – quite clearly – that Celtic Football Club covered up the sexual molestation of young boys in their care. Being the journalist who won an award for her investigation into The Celtic Paedophile James Torbett, she should know.
Ms. Smith confirmed that Celtic manager Jock Stein and his board of directors were well aware of Torbett’s evil and conspired to wrap the whole sordid affair in a veil of secrecy.
Gruesomely, Smith disclosed that shortly after Mr. Hugh Birt (himself a Celtic FC employee) went public regarding the cover-up, Celtic banished him. The hush-up failed and Torbett was sentenced to 30 months in prison. In summing up, Ms. Smith stated “It was staring them in the face for years, yet they did nothing. They are guilty of criminal negligence.”
On Wednesday of last week, another Celtic paedophile was unmasked. The Daily Record told the squalid tale of Jim McCafferty, who worked as a Celtic scout, coach and kit-man for six years. McCafferty gave the newspaper the names of five of his victims and further stated there were around a dozen boys in total whom he preyed on. BBC correspondent Reeval Alderson speaking live on national television declared that McCafferty abused young Celtic players at his home in West Lothian whilst in Celtic FC’s employ.
Numerous newspaper reports and news bulletins followed. Tellingly, none of them stated that Celtic FC had informed the police. Indeed McCafferty - who has now been charged - left Celtic in 1996 for what the club described as “personal reasons”. Subsequent to these revelations newspapers have reported that McCafferty had close friendships with both the aforementioned James Torbett and Crewe Alexandria’s Barry Bennel, who has been charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy aged under 14.
Around the same time as Torbett was carrying out his sick crimes another Celtic coach was accused of child molestation. In 1991 Celtic Boys Club had been to Kearney, New Jersey - an annual tour - and one boy, who went on to become a professional player in Scotland, told his hosts and his own family that he had been sexually molested 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. Brady listened to the boy, believed him, and insisted to the Celtic Board that Cairney had to be removed, not only from the boys' club but from the main football club.
Overnight, the man who was used to having his run of the place and the ear of the management was cast out. As reported in Scotland on Sunday at the time, it was agreed, by Brady, the boy and his parents and the Celtic board of directors, that the police would not be informed. 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. The aforementioned Hugh Birt claimed he was concerned about the behaviour of both Cairney and Torbett and raised the matter with Stein. Before he knew it Birt was forced to resign by Celtic Chairman Kevin Kelly. (1)
By this time, a well-known Celtic supporter by the name of Gerry McSherry had begun touting what he called “The Paedo Files” round various newspapers and television companies, resulting in the award-winning Daily Record investigation. This led to another former Celtic Boys Club player, whom we won’t name, coming forward to state that Cairney had sexually assaulted him. The victim, then only 14 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. The worst thing was to sit in the front seat beside him (Cairney). 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”.
The player added that he and others were too terrified to report Cairney in case they would be thrown out of Celtic. The rest as they say is part of Celtic FC’s shame-ridden history.
In March 2004 under the banner headline “CELTIC PERV CAUGHT BY CLEANERS – BARE BOY PICS FOUND” the Daily Record revealed the story of Celtic photographer John Cullen who had been employed by the club for 30 years:
“A pervert photographer was snared when cleaners at Celtic Park uncovered a bin bag full of photos of naked boys. John Cullen,who worked for official club magazine The Celtic View, took pictures of nude and semi-naked youths. And he was snared after a hoard of the snaps were discovered inside Parkhead stadium……” (2)
Cullen subsequently admitted inviting the children to a house in Glasgow between January and December 1982 before getting them to pose for the camera. He was charged and convicted of indecency against boys aged as young as 10. Quite amazingly, the court was told that the 250 photographs had been stored at Celtic Park for TWENTY YEARS. (3)
One sick paedophile in the employ of an organisation is unfortunate. Four at the same time is sinister and warrants a full enquiry by both Police Scotland and the SFA. Tens of thousands of pounds were paid to James Torbett’s Trophy Centre business by Celtic. The club’s Chairman Kevin Kelly was a director of the same business and another Celtic Director Jack McGinn was a senior employee. Was this hush-money? It is plausible that a paedophile ring was operating at Celtic Park. Often when you join the dots, you get the picture.
- Scotland on Sunday 18th August 1996
- Daily Record 13th March 2004
- BBC News, Friday 12th March 2004.