Big Jock Knew

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"Big Jock Knew" is a song sung by the supporters of numerous Scottish football clubs, including Rangers and Heart of Midlothian.[1] It is aimed mainly to antagonise supporters of their Glasgow rivals Celtic by stating the allegation their former manager, Jock Stein, was aware of sexual abuse committed by the former Celtic Boys Club manager, Jim Torbett, and did not notify the authorities.


The song has provoked controversy and is often condemned by numerous sources.[2] Celtic Boys' Club chairman Hugh Birt has claimed that Stein and the Celtic board were aware of and covered up allegations made against Torbett.[3][4] UNICEF expressed concern over the song and called for it to be banned from football games.[5] The song was not originally placed on a list of banned chants by the Scottish Premier League whereas other similar controversial chants such as the Billy Boys were.[6] In 2007, the then Scottish Football Association Chief Executive, Gordon Smith, called the song "morally repugnant."[7]

There have been a number of high-profile mentions of it in the media. In 2007, at the end of the song "Who Knew" by Pink, Real Radio DJ Steven McKenna stated, "Big Jock". This sparked angry complaints from Celtic fans calling for him to be sacked. The radio station then issued a public apology.[8]


  1. ^ "Sectarian & abusive Hearts fans 'do not represent the club or it's values'". Scotzine. 30 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Bernard (24 August 2007). "More than a game". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Stein 'covered up' allegations of abuse at Celtic Boys' Club". The Scotsman Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ MacDonald, Stuart (10 January 2009). "Unicef: Famine Song banned". The Times. Retrieved 6 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Broadfoot, Darryl (6 August 2007). "SPL urged to clarify banned chants". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 6 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Spiers, Graham (24 November 2007). "Reid this and weep: accusations have no place in football world". The Times. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Rose, Gareth (15 August 2007). "Club apologises to Celtic after sex abuse jibe". The Scotsman. Retrieved 6 March 2011.