The Celtic Boys Club was founded in 1966. First based in Maryhill, the club was initially independent from the professional Celtic Football Club, but links started to strengthen as the Boys Club was allowed to use the training facilities at Barrowfield training complex on London Road.John Higgins, a Celtic scout, recognised the benefits of the club and a semi-formal agreement was made where the Under 16 side would act as a nursery for Celtic scouts to find players with potential to play for Celtic FC, although players from the Boys club are under no obligation to sign for Celtic FC.
The various Boys Club teams have won numerous honours over the years. Their most notable win to date is their win at under 16 level in the 1974 European Youth Cup, defeating Manchester United 1-0 in the final, courtesy of a goal by George McCluskey.
In 1996, former Celtic Boys Club player Alan Brazil revealed that when he was 13 years old he had been sexually abused by the club manager, Jim Torbett. The allegations were heard at the Glasgow Sheriff Court, where Torbett was found guilty of shameless and indecent conduct with three juvenile players between October 1967 and March 1974. Torbett was given a prison sentence of 30 months.Rangers fans have since alleged that Celtic manager Jock Stein attempted to cover up the scandal, by chanting "Big Jock Knew".Alan Brazil stated unequivocally in 2009 that Stein was not involved, but claimed that the Kelly family knew of the abuse and defended Torbett.