Celtic Boys Club
The Celtic Boys Club is a youth football club based in Glasgow, Scotland. The club operates teams in age groups from under-9 to under-19 and has helped develop many future professional footballers.
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 stated 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.
In April 2017, a BBC Scotland programme Football Abuse: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game, alleged that the reasons for Torbett leaving Celtic Boys' Club in 1974 were covered up, that Torbett was allowed to return to the Boys' Club, and that two youth players (one named as Kenny Campbell) were abused by Torbett in his second spell at the Boys' Club during the 1980s and 1990s - claims which Torbett has denied. During a trip to America, Torbett was later confronted by BBC Scotland reporters about the Campbell allegations; he said: "I have a lot to say. I'll see him in court," and denied being a paedophile. On his return to the UK Torbett was arrested and charged with six offences (three of indecent assault and three of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices), and on 5 May 2017 appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he was released on bail.
Also in April 2017, Gerald King, a former chairman of Celtic Boys Club, was charged by police with non-recent sexual offences, and Frank Cairney, 82, a former coach and manager at the club was charged in connection with six alleged historical sexual offences.
Professional players developed
Celtic Boys Club has helped develop many future professional players, some of whom have gone on to play for Celtic F.C..
- Roy Aitken
- Marc Anthony
- Tom Boyd
- Jimmy Boyle
- Alan Brazil
- Gerry Britton
- Mark Burchill
- Tommy Burns
- Gary Caldwell
- Jim Casey
- Barry John Corr
- Ronnie Coyle
- Stephen Crainey
- Danny Crainie
- Gerry Creaney
- Simon Donnelly
- Barry Elliot
- David Elliot
- Mark Fotheringham
- Steve Fulton
- Tony Gallagher
- Peter Grant
- Paddy Kelly
- John Kennedy
- Stewart Kerr
- John Paul McBride
- Ryan McCann
- Dugald McCarrison
- George McCluskey
- Brian McColligan
- Andy McCondichie
- Doug McGuire
- Jim McInally
- Tosh McKinlay
- Stephen McManus
- Mark McNally
- Paul McStay
- Willie McStay
- Alex Mathie
- Joe Miller
- David Moyes
- Charlie Nicholas
- Brian O'Neil
- Mark Reid
- Andy Ritchie
- Tony Shepherd
- Jamie Smith
- John Traynor
- Derek Whyte
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