A fifth coach at Celtic FC’s feeder club has been accused of child sex abuse, The Times can disclose.
Four senior figures at Celtic Boys Club have been convicted of molesting dozens of young players over four decades.
Now Lyness Malley, a former coach and official with the boys’ club, has been accused of repeatedly abusing a young player at Barrowfield, a Glasgow training ground owned by the senior club. It is alleged he rubbed oil on a boy in the changing rooms on multiple occasions and touched his genitals and buttocks.
Mr Malley, 81, strongly denies the claims, insisting that they are malicious and motivated by a desire for revenge after he dropped his accuser from his team. He accepted that he had regularly massaged the thighs of his players with oil but said there was no sexual motivation behind it. He said that he had never touched boys inappropriately.
Civil action is being prepared against Celtic FC over its alleged failure to protect the boy from abuse, said to have taken place in 1969 and 1970.
A number of further court summonses are due to be served against Celtic FC by Thompsons solicitors, which is representing about 20 abuse survivors, early next year.
Mr Malley, who served over decades as a coach, treasurer and minutes secretary with the boys’ club, was interviewed by police in connection with the allegations but the case did not proceed because of a lack of corroboration — an essential requirement in Scots law.
Thompsons alleges that Celtic FC failed to carry out “suitable and sufficient checks” on youth coaches and did not monitor them appropriately.
While expressing “regret and sorrow” for the victims, Celtic FC has refused to accept responsibility for abuse, where found, within the boys’ club — insisting it was an entirely separate organisation.
Mr Malley said he had always acted appropriately with the children. “I’m not that type of person,” he told The Times. “I have done nothing wrong.”
Mr Malley, who also held a senior position with the Scottish Youth Club Association, added that he had no memory of his accuser.
In February Frank Cairney, 83, former manager of the boys’ club, was convicted of sexually abusing young footballers and was jailed. He had his sentence reduced last month.
In May Jim McCafferty, 73, a former Celtic FC kit man and boys’ club coach, admitted 12 child sexual abuse charges and was jailed for six years.
Last year Gerald King, 66, one-time chairman of the boys’ club was convicted of abusing four boys and a girl. Jim Torbett, 71, who helped to found it, was jailed for six years.
Mr Malley, who was involved with the feeder club from 1969 until the late 1980s, said he had no inkling that systematic abuse had been taking place.
Thompsons solicitors urged abuse victims to come forward. Celtic FC did not respond to a request for comment.