Frank Cairney, 83, former manager of Celtic Boys Club has been convicted for nine charges of sexually abusing young footballers. Cairney has been jailed for four years following the conviction.

Cairney is now the third Celtic Boys Club coach to be jailed. Jim Torbett was jailed for six years in November, while another coach, teacher Gerald King, has also been convicted. Cairney was tried twenty years ago for similar allegations, but was acquitted.

Sheriff Daniel Kelly described Cairney as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The Court heard how the victims had suffered badly from the abuse. The Sheriff praised the victims and their courage for coming forward

One of the victims of Cairney, who is now in his late 50’s, has described how some of the abuse took place in the dressing room at Celtic Park. The victim described how Cairney had used his position of authority to entice and abuse the young boys “in the most horrible way.” The former victim said that he wanted the Government to look at the sentences given to abusers and that “the sentences have to be stricter so that we can protect our vulnerable.”

After the conviction of Torbett in November, Celtic Football Club expressed “deep regret” for the victims but stressed that the boys club was a separate entity. Following the conviction of Cairney on Thursday the club again made a similar statement.

“Although Celtic Football Club is an entirely separate organisation to Celtic Boys’ Club, we wish to express our deep regret that these incidents took place, as well as our sympathy for the victims who suffered abuse. We are grateful for the courage of those who have come forward to report abuse and to give evidence after such a long period of time. We have great respect for them and their families as they continue to cope with the distressing effects of the abuse they suffered”.

The victim of Cairney has described how they would make regular visits to Celtic Park and used “to sweep the terraces there.” The victim has said that “Celtic FC has been in denial of the association with the Boys Club. It’s appalling; please stop it.”


If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094.

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