Victim claims football abusers worked together
A man who was abused by Jim McCafferty as a boy said the former celtic kitman was part of a paedophile ring
Wednesday February 26 2020, 12.01am GMT, The Times
Compelling evidence for the existence of a cross-border paedophile network will feature in an official report commissioned by the Scottish Football Association, it has emerged.
An independent review into sexual abuse within Scottish football is expected to deliver its final report within weeks. However, Martin Henry, chairman of the review panel, has told Channel 4 News that “substantive” new evidence has emerged which suggested that some notorious predators worked together to traffick young players.
Last month The Times published allegations that Barry Bennell, a former scout with Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra, and Jim McCafferty, a former celtic kitman and boy’s club coach, were part of an organised abuse ring.
Bennell, 66, is serving a 30-year sentence for abusing boys on an “industrial scale”. McCafferty, 74, was jailed last year for molesting youngsters over a 24-year period.
One survivor, Malcolm Rodger — who has waived his right to anonymity — has presented new evidence, claiming that he was abused separately by McCafferty and Bennell after being introduced to them by Bill Kelly, a former coach with the now defunct West Lothian team Uphall Saints.
Kelly, 84, was jailed in 1987 for sexually assaulting at least 12 players, including Mr Rodger, at the club over a 22-year period. He served one year in prison.
Mr Henry confirmed that his inquiry had received information which suggested that prominent abusers in Scotland and England had been working together.
“We do have substantive information to suggest that has been the case,” he said. “If you’d asked me that question a month ago I would have said no.
“There was no substantive information that we had at that time that suggested any kind of organised abuse between Scotland and England under the auspices of football.
“We have had recent accounts that suggests that was very much the case. These have been passed to the English FA inquiry.
“I’m fully confident that the English FA inquiry will come up with recommendations every bit as detailed and robust as my own.”
Mr Rodger, 49, from Glasgow, was subjected to two years of abuse in the mid-1980s after attending games, trials and tournaments in Scotland, England and Spain.
He said that Kelly and McCafferty, whom he recognised as the trainer of the neighbouring Fauldhouse United, abused him together many times.
A year later Mr Rodger accompanied Kelly on a trip to Blackpool, where he was introduced to Bennell.
Mr Rodger told Channel 4 News that the abuse he received at the hands at Bennell made him physically sick.
“The following day Bill Kelly told me, if anybody was to ask anything, just to say that I’d eaten something that hadn’t agreed with me at dinner,” he said.
Mr Rodger, a decorated former serviceman who served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and in the first Gulf War, said that he hoped his decision to speak out would convince others to come forward.
“Everybody in Scotland knows that abuse has taken place but it’s different when there’s a face, there’s a name that’s telling them that I was abused.” he said.
Kelly, a former secretary of the West Lothian Association of Youth Football Clubs, denies having any connection with Bennell or McCafferty.
The SFA said that it was awaiting the findings of the independent review.