Ex-Celtic Boys Club manager Frank Cairney faces abuse charges

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Ex-Celtic Boys Club manager Frank Cairney faces abuse charges

Frank Cairney was manager of Celtic Boys Club from 1974 to 1991

A former senior figure at Celtic FC’s feeder club is facing charges of sexual abuse, The Times can disclose.

Frank Cairney, 84, served as manager of Celtic Boys Club from 1974 until 1991. A Crown Office spokeswoman confirmed Mr Cairney has been charged and is involved in a “live solemn case”.

The Times understands that the charges relate to the alleged sexual abuse of young people. It is expected that Mr Cairney, of Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, will appear in court within months. A source said: “A court date hasn’t been set up at the moment. It is going to be held either at the high court or in front of a sheriff and jury.”

Police Scotland declined to comment, saying it was now a matter for the Crown Office.

Mr Cairney took over as general manager of Celtic Boys Club in 1974. He replaced Jim Torbett, the founder of the boys’ club, who was jailed for two years in 1998 and for six years in November 2018 for a string of sex attacks against boys who had been in his care.

In 1986 Mr Cairney contributed an article to a souvenir brochure produced to mark the 20th anniversary of Celtic Boys Club. He wrote: “We have helped to make a lot of young boys happy. It makes me even happier to think we are fulfilling a role in their development.

“I will have special thoughts for every boy who has represented the boys’ club during the 20 years of our existence.”

Mr Cairney left the boys’ club in 1991 after leading 20 teenagers and five adults on a summer tour to New Jersey.

Jim McCafferty, 73, a former Celtic Boys Club coach and Celtic FC kitman was jailed for six years and nine months last May for abusing young players. Gerald King, 66, a boys’ club chairman, was convicted in December 2018 of abusing children at a school in Glasgow while he was a teacher, but avoided jail.
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