Celtic Boys Club

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Celtic B.C
Founded 1966
Chairman Gerry King

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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1]

The various Boys Club teams have won numerous honours over the years.[1] 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.[2][3]

Sexual abuse[edit]

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.[4] Torbett was given a prison sentence of 30 months.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Also in April 2017, Gerald King, a former chairman of Celtic Boys Club, was charged by police with non-recent sexual offences,[9] and Frank Cairney, 82, a former coach and manager at the club was charged in connection with six alleged historical sexual offences.[10]

Professional players developed[edit]

Celtic Boys Club has helped develop many future professional players, some of whom have gone on to play for Celtic F.C..


  1. ^ a b c d e "Club;s history in brief". The Celtic Boys Club. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Major honours". The Celtic Boys Club. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Reynolds, Jim (16 April 1974). "12,000 cheers as Celtic Boys land a double". The Glasgow Herald. p. 4. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Former Celtic manager guilty of abuse". BBC News. 12 November 1998. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Bentham, Martin (18 September 2005). "Child abusers who shame British football". The Observer. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Daly, Mark (11 April 2017). "New allegations in football abuse scandal". BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Daly, Mark (2 May 2017). "Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach accused of abuse tracked to US". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach charged over sex offences". STV. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Former chairman of Celtic Boys Club suspended from job as primary school teacher after historical sex abuse allegations". Glasgow Live. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Ex Celtic Boys Club official faces sex abuse charge". BBC Scotland. BBC. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj "CELTIC : 1946/47 - 2009/10". Post War English & Scottish Football League A - Z Player's Database. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  12. ^ McGhee, Forde (17 April 2013). "Tom Boyd". Youth Football Scotland. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Jimmy Boyle". Post War English & Scottish Football League A - Z Player's Database. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  14. ^ Bradley, Joseph. "Burns, Thomas [Tommy] (1956–2008), footballer and football manager". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 30 January 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "Gary Caldwell". footballtop.com. 
  16. ^ a b "The Celtic Boys Club Past Players". The Celtic Boys Club. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Stephen McManus makes £1.5m switch from Celtic to Boro". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "On the Spot: David Moyes". The Telegraph. 23 November 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Clark, Graham (30 July 1987). "One that got away". Evening Times. p. 2. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "If You Know The History – 17th August 1991 Gillespie and O'Neill debuts". Jim Craig Celtic Supporter's Club. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 

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