New Celtic Boys' Club sex abuse allegations against Jim Torbett revealed

Brian Donnelly

New Celtic Boys' Club sex abuse allegations against Jim Torbett revealed

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NEW allegations of child sex abuse have been made against the founder of Celtic Boys' Club.

More alleged victims of Jim Torbett have come forward claiming that he sexually abused them during the 1980s and 1990s, the BBC reported.

Torbett "vehemently denies" the allegations against him.

It was reported there are also new claims about former Hibernian and Rangers coach Gordon Neely, who died in 2014.

An alleged victim claims he was repeatedly raped by Neely from the age of 11.

Rangers sacked him over alleged abuse and the club said it informed the police.

The allegations about Torbett and Neely were made in a BBC programme Football Abuse: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game, on Monday.

They include that there is new evidence that the reasons for Torbett leaving Celtic Boys' Club in 1974 were covered up and there were missed opportunities by football clubs to stop Neely's abuse.

Celtic Boys' Club was founded by Jim Torbett in 1966 with the permission of the then Celtic FC manager, the late Jock Stein and former chairman Sir Robert Kelly.

It was created as a separate entity from the football club, but it has been closely linked throughout its history and acted as a feeder club, producing a string of Celtic players including Roy Aitken, Paul McStay and Tommy Burns.

Torbett had two stints at the Boys' Club, the first from 1966-1974.

He returned to the boys' club around 1980 and stayed until a series of newspaper articles revealed abuse claims against him in 1996.

He was jailed for two years in 1998 on conviction of abusing three former Celtic Boys' Club players, including former Scotland international Alan Brazil, between 1967-74.

In a statement, Celtic FC said the club was "fully committed to safeguarding children".

The statement went on: "Celtic Boys' Club was separate and distinct organisation from Celtic Football Club.

"It was vital that justice was served at that time, due to the extremely serious nature of this issue."

The statement added that anyone with any concerns should contact the club.

In a statement Rangers said: "It is understood the individual was dismissed immediately and that the police were informed.

"All employees adhered to the strictest codes of conduct."

The club added that it would "always co-operate fully" with the authorities.