Alleged victim tells trial boys signed for club because of Celtic connection
BY DAVID MEIKLE AN EX-PRO footballer has claimed he was molested by a coach with close links to Celtic legend Jock Stein.
The former player told a trial boys were keen to play for Frank Cairney’s team because he trained them “the Celtic way”.
But, giving evidence yesterday, the witness told how, when he was a boy, Cairney rubbed his thigh while driving his car.
And he claimed boys at St Columba’s Boys Guild in Viewpark, Lanarkshire, didn’t want to be alone with him because of “rumours”.
The 67-year-old, who played for Hamilton Accies, Alloa and Stirling Albion, said he didn’t tell anyone because he feared Cairney could harm his career.
Cairney, now 82, denies sex offences against five boys aged 14-17 and two 12-year-olds.
Some of the abuse is alleged to have happened at Celtic’s old Barrowfield training ground.
The witness told jurors yesterday: “Frank Cairney managed the team and he was excellent and had wonderful close links to Jock Stein and we used to train the Celtic way, as they would say, and that is why so many good players came from Viewpark.
“There was a kitchen in the church hall where he had a bed and would give us a professional rub but you didn’t like to go in yourself because there had been rumours.
“When it happened to me I knew what they were talking about. It happened to me a couple of times maybe four.
“There was also a time when I was running late and Frank offered to give me a lift and when he was driving put his hand onto me and started rubbing my thighs close to my groin and only stopped when we got to the end of the road.
“I didn’t say anything because I was embarrassed and scared to say anything.
“I wanted to play football and wanted to continue playing football so didn’t say anything.
“He had links and could say to another team not to sign me or something so I kept my mouth shut.
“The way it happened showed he didn’t give two monkeys and I think he thought, ‘He won’t say anything, he won’t do anything.’”
Cairney faces charges he abused a 14-year-old boy between September 1969 and December 1972; and another 14-year-old boy between January 1985 and December 1986.
He is accused of indecent assault against three boys aged between 14 and 17, between May 1965 and May 1970. Cairney also denies indecent behaviour against two 12-year-olds between December 1965 and December 1969.
The trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court continues.
BIG JOCK Stein was respected