St Patrick's Sports Academy
St Patrick's Sports Academy is a youth football club based in Glasgow, Scotland. Formerly The Celtic Boys Club, it was renamed in August 2018 at a time when four former affiliated individuals were awaiting trial for sexual abuse offences. The club operates teams in age groups from under-9 to under-19 and has helped develop many future professional footballers, particularly for Celtic F.C. with which they have historically had close links.
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.
The club was rebranded in August 2018 as St Patrick's Sports Academy, with a new club logo and different style of green and white strip.
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 in 1998, 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. There have since been further allegations about Torbett; in May 2017 he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court having been charged with six offences; in April 2018, Torbett appeared at the High Court in Glasgow where he faced 12 historical sexual abuse charges dating from January 1970 to August 1994; a June 2018 trial date was set. On 5 November 2018 Torbett was found guilty of five counts of sexually abusing children and sentenced to six years in prison.
Also in April 2017, Gerald King, a former chairman of Celtic Boys Club, was charged by police with non-recent sexual offences. King, 66, went on trial on 26 November 2018 at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he was accused of lewd and libidinous practices towards five boys and two girls while he was a Glasgow teacher, between August 1983 and June 1989; he was also charged with taking or permitting to be taken indecent images of children between January 1987 and December 1988 at Barrowfield. On 5 December 2018, King was convicted of five charges of using lewd and libidinous practises towards five victims between August 1984 and April 1989, and found guilty of taking indecent pictures of children in February 1987. On 7 January 2019 King was given a three-year probation order, ordered to do community service and put on the sex offenders register for five years.
In April 2017, Frank Cairney, a former Celtic Boys Club coach and manager (who, in November 1998, had been acquitted of charges of shameless indecency towards young football players due to lack of evidence), was charged in connection with six alleged historical sexual offences. He appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court on 11 May 2018, facing ten charges of alleged abuse between 1965 and 1986, including indecent assault, gross indecency and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour. After Cairney's defence team requested a delay to investigate witness statements, the trial at Hamilton began in early December 2018 with Cairney, 82, denying all ten charges. On 14 December, Cairney was found guilty of nine charges of sexually abusing young footballers, placed on the sex offenders register and was granted bail before being sentenced. On 7 February 2019, Cairney was jailed for four years.
In a trial in May 2019 at Edinburgh High Court, Jim McCafferty was jailed for six years and nine months after pleading guilty to 11 charges of abusing teenagers between 1972 and 1996. The victims abused by McCafferty were at Celtic Boys Club, Celtic's youth team, and youth teams he ran in North Lanarkshire.
Professional players developedEdit
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
- "Club's history in brief". The Celtic Boys Club. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Major honours". The Celtic Boys Club. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Reynolds, Jim (16 April 1974). "12,000 cheers as Celtic Boys land a double". The Glasgow Herald. p. 4. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Celtic express 'deep regret' over Torbett child abuse". BBC News (7 November 2018). Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "Former Celtic manager guilty of abuse". BBC News. 12 November 1998. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Bentham, Martin (18 September 2005). "Child abusers who shame British football". The Observer. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach charged over sex offences". STV. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- McLaren, Andy (5 April 2018). "Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach to stand trial on abuse charges". STV News. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- "Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett guilty of abusing boys". BBC News. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
- "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.
- McAnally, Ashlee. "Ex-teacher on trial for sex offences". Times. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- "Former Celtic Boys Club boss found guilty of sex abuse". BBC News. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
- "Former Celtic Boys Club boss given probation for sex abuse". BBC News. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
- "Celtic Boys' Club manager acquitted". Herald Scotland. 7 November 1998. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Ex Celtic Boys Club official faces sex abuse charge". BBC Scotland. BBC. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "Sexual abuse trial subject to long delay". Motherwell Times. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- Meikle, David (8 December 2018). "'Abusive coach Frank Cairney respected for his Celtic links'". Times. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- "Former Celtic Boys Club manager Frank Cairney guilty of abuse". BBC News. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
- "Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach jailed over abuse". BBC News. BBC. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- "Former Celtic youth coach admits abusing teenagers". STV. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "CELTIC : 1946/47 - 2009/10". Post War English & Scottish Football League A - Z Player's Database. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- McGhee, Forde (17 April 2013). "Tom Boyd". Youth Football Scotland. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "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.
- Bradley, Joseph. "Burns, Thomas [Tommy] (1956–2008), footballer and football manager". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "Gary Caldwell". footballtop.com.
- "The Celtic Boys Club Past Players". The Celtic Boys Club. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Stephen McManus makes £1.5m switch from Celtic to Boro". BBC Sport. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Winter, Henry (23 November 2002). "On the Spot: David Moyes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Clark, Graham (30 July 1987). "One that got away". Evening Times. p. 2. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "If You Know The History – 17th August 1991 Gillespie and O'Neill debuts". Jim Craig Celtic Supporter's Club. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013.