A former youth footballer, Malcolm Rodger, who has waived his anonymity, has claimed he was sexually abused by a notorious sex offender, Barry Bennell, after being trafficked from Scotland to England.

In 2018, Bennell was jailed for 31 years for 50 counts of child sexual abuse between 1979 and 1991.

Mr Rodger, who was 13 years old when he signed for Uphall Saints Boys’ Club in West Lothian, was sexually assaulted by ex-coach Barry Bennell after being introduced to him by his coach Bill Kelly when the team travelled to Blackpool in 1984.

Bill Kelly was later jailed for a catalogue of sex offences against 12 victims over a 22-year period. Mr Rodger claims Kelly abused him up to 30 times over two seasons in Scotland, England and abroad.

Mr Rodger, was also introduced to former Celtic Boys’ Club Coach, Jim McCafferty, who sexually abused him.

McCafferty was jailed last year for six years and nine months for historic sex offences between 1972 and 1996.

On Wednesday Celtic issued a statement about historic sexual abuse. The statement said it was “appalled by any form of historic abuse” and has “great sympathy” for the victims and their families and “The club is very sorry that these events took place. The abuse of young people is an abhorrent crime.”

As a result of the abuse, Mr Rodger has suffered psychological injury including “daily” flashbacks. He said his experiences, which have been detailed in two statements of fact to his solicitor, have left some of those who read them “visibly upset”.

Mr Roger now wants the game’s governing body, The Football Association (FA), to either publically admit or deny liability for a problem he said affected hundreds of young footballers.


If you have been a victim of child abuse 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 or 0330 300 1103.

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