Being Put Through Hoops

A True Account of Child Sexual Abuse in Scottish Football

A child's mind before, during and after his experience of sexual abuse

What it did to him, and his family over the next 50 years


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Celtic Officials : Jock Stein, Bob Kelly, Jim Torbett, Billy McNeil, Gordon Woods (Front Right)




James Torbett

Twice-convicted Celtic paedophile Jim Torbett formed Celtic Boys Club in 1966 with the approval of Celtic manager Jock Stein. He regularly sat in his Directors Box seat at The Theatre of Shame with his friends and business partners, former Celtic F.C. Chairmen Kevin Kelly and Jack McGinn. Celtic F.C awarded his company a £1 million contract. At his trial the jury were told that lifelong Celtic supporter Torbett used to take children to his flat and teach them the words of IRA songs before molesting them.

Francis 'Big Frank' Cairney

Convicted Celtic paedophile Francis "Big Frank" Cairney was appointed General Manager of Celtic Boys Club following the departure of Torbett and the subsequent Celtic F.C. cover-up as to why he left. At Cairney's trial, Hamilton Sherriff Court heard that he had sexually molested Celtic youths in the dressing room at Celtic Park. In addition, he abused a 14 year-old boy between September 1969 and December 1972 and a 15 year-old boy between January 1985 and December 1986 at Celtic F.C.'s Barrowfield training ground. The court was also told that Cairney was paid by Celtic F.C. to act as a scout.

Jim McCafferty

Convicted Celtic paedophile Jim McCafferty was employed by Celtic Football Club as a coach and kitman. He was convicted at Livingston Sheriff Court of molesting young boys aged between just 12 and 15. The court heard that he tried to rape one victim in the home dressing room at Celtic Park. He is also convicted of sexually abusing children during football tours in Germany and Austria whilst he was at Celtic F.C.

Gerald King

Convicted Celtic paedophile Gerald "Gerry" King is another former Celtic Boys Club Chairman. Kings' convictions included "taking or permitting to be taken, indecent images of children at Barrowfield Football Park at the city's London Road" as well as exposing himself to children. "Barrowfield Football Park" would be more accurately described as the (then) official training premises of Celtic Football Club. King's victims were aged between nine and thirteen years old at the time of the offences. In the summer of 1983, King joined senior players from Celtic Boys Club on a trip to Kearney, New Jersey, USA. He wrote an article for the official Celtic F.C. club magazine the Celtic View headlined "Trip of a Lifetime". For some children it most certainly wasn't. It has been claimed that King received regular "expenses payments" from Celtic Football Club. King also worked for twice-convicted Celtic paedophile Jim Torbett at the business he (Torbett) ran with former Celtic F.C. Directors Kevin Kelly and Jack McGinn.

Neil Strachan

Convicted Celtic paedophile Neil Strachan, the secretary of Celtic East Boys Club (Edinburgh), was a leading figure in a depraved paedophile ring. His list of convictions reference the rape of children, sadism, bestiality, indecent images of children and molestation of children as young as 18 months old. At the High Court in Edinburgh he received a life sentence. The court heard that Strachan, who is HIV-positive, was "sadistic and aggressive". Prior to conviction Strachan had quit as secretary of Edinburgh-based Celtic East Boys Club after it was discovered he had abused a boy of just 5. The abuse had gone on for two years. It has always been claimed that Celtic F.C. had no link whatsoever to the Edinburgh-based Celtic Boys Club. The claim was yet another Celtic F.C. lie.

John Cullen

Convicted Celtic paedophile John Cullen was on Celtic Football Clubs' payroll as official photographer for 30 years. He admitted taking pictures of naked and semi-naked children as young as ten after cleaners had found in excess of 250 images in his store room at Celtic Park. The perverts' photographs had been there for more than 20 years. He also admitted inviting the children to a house in Glasgow between January and December 1982 before getting them to pose for the camera. He pled guilty to a charge of lewd and libidinous behaviour.

Lyness Malley

Lyness Malley, a former coach and official at Celtic Boys Club has been accused of repeatedly abusing a young player at Barrowfield, the Glasgow training ground owned by Celtic F.C. It is alleged he rubbed oil on a boy in the changing rooms on multiple occasions and touched his genitals and buttocks. Malley, served over decades as a coach, treasurer and minutes secretary with Celtic's youth wing.

This information is web linked ony. Not within the book.




Channel 4 report



with John Beattie drivetime



@goldberg RADIO interview





@goldberg PODCAST





...A few BOOK extracts


"Predators work alone, predators work in groups, predators, tragically, know how to remain invisible to everyone other than their poor child victims. Predators are professional paedophiles. Whilst authorities take an amateur approach in outing them our kids are still in danger"!


I was an ordinary Glasgow kid. Well, at least I thought I was. at 10-years-old I played kerbie, kick-the-can, football, caught bees in jam jars then smashed the jar running away, sometimes not as fast as the bees could fly, unfortunately. I had even begun an interest in the girls at school, purely platonic of course.


"At 12 years old I had dreams and aspirations that most kids have but mine was different. I was reaching for the stars, being an R.A.F. Pilot, an Author or a Veterinarian was on my agenda and even my parents laughed when I told them".


"These animals just don't care about the damage done. Not just to the young lives they trespass into but also the damage they inflict on the adults who morph from those abused children. As they grow old the children still have to live with the guilt & the horrific memories".


"I had been reprieved by Torbett and accepted into The Celtic Family. He had seen something in me that he liked, was it my skills? Had he discovered a new boy wonder who he would soon release to the world? No, I was caught in paedophiles trap, a target, a Torbett target, a target before I had even kicked a ball for Celtic in earnest".


"That was the day in Dumfries when Jock Stein had wanted to teach me, Torbett, and every other Celtic Boys Club player a lesson they would never forget, and he had gone a long, long way out of his remit to do so. He was successful, I've not forgotten it to this day".


"A toy shop should be the ultimate joy for children. Joe's Toy Shop on the Maryhill Road, owned by a Celtic Boys Club official, became a living hell for me. To this day, I have feared going into toy shops, even with my own three children. I could never explain to them why I always wanted to leave and leave them disappointed".


I was silenced for 50 years. I am a single father, and I have had my 10-year-old daughter, on my own, since she was 10 months old. She recently had a problem at school. She came home & told me "Dad, I had to do the right thing". It broke me knowing for 50 years I had not. I took her advice & "I did the right thing".


"When Ch4 aired I was quite emotional. I managed to control it but a tear did fall. My little one noticed & she asked if I was OK, she leaned over, kissed my cheek, & whispered: “I'm proud of you Daddy”. That made my questionable decision to come forward so sad but so rewarding".


"Torbett hasn't won. I imagined the filthy bastard reveling in his past crimes. Thinking of his victims, I got away with that one, & that one, & that one too! I am now satisfied that when he thinks of me after 52 years he will have to accept, I didn't get away with that one"!


When I first came forward in September 2019 I advised my legal team and the press what I sought from Celtic. A formal face to face apology, an acceptance from them they were responsible & a generous donation to Children’s Charities. That offer was time limited & has now expired.