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Boys' club coach Torbett touched and kissed me; COURT TOLD OF SCOTS STAR'S ORDEAL.

FORMER Scotland star Alan Brazil told a court yesterday how a Celtic Boys' Club coach fondled and kissed him.

The 39-year-old - capped 13 times by his country - told a jury at Glasgow Sheriff Court the incident happened in the home of Jim Torbett in 1972 or 1973 - when Brazil was 13.

And he feared that avoiding Torbett afterwards scuppered his promising Celtic career.

Mr Brazil said he had been invited back to Torbett's flat with a group of other boys to eat ice cream and talk tactics.

He said: "I was sitting on the sofa and he squeezed me and put his hand between my legs, touching me. I probably hoped it was an accident, but it sure wasn't - he started fingering me."

Mr Brazil said Torbett then kissed him on the side of the cheek and, at first, he was too numbed by shock to do anything to stop it.

But he made an excuse that he needed to go to the toilet and left the flat.

Mr Brazil, who played for Ipswich, Manchester United and Spurs, and now lives in Suffolk, was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of 51-year-old Torbett, c/o Levers Cottage, Burnbrae Road, Auchinloch, Lenzie, near Glasgow.

Torbett denies three charges of shameless and indecent conduct against three former Celtic Boys' Club players between October 1967 and March 1974.

It is alleged that some of the offences took place at a flat in Sighthill, Glasgow, while others took place in Torbett's van and at cinemas, cafes and a Glasgow bowling alley.

James McGrory, 44, who lives in England, and David Gordon, 38, a taxi driver, both gave evidence on the first day of the trial about alleged offences against them.

Mr Brazil, who now works as a soccer pundit for Sky TV, said that, immediately after the incident, he had avoided socialising with Torbett and had always wondered whether this had affected Celtic's decision not to sign him when he was old enough.

He said: "I scored 62 goals in my final season with Celtic Boys' Club, which was an amateur league record, and I was one of only two players in that team who weren't signed."

Alan Nicol, defending, suggested that Mr Brazil's career had not been hindered in any way and that he had been paid pounds 10,000 by a newspaper which contacted him two years ago at a time when he was in financial difficulties.

However, Mr Brazil said his only desire was to tell the truth about what had happened.

He said: "I knew the story was going to come out and I wanted to tell my side of it. It's not been easy, but I'm glad I have got it off my chest."

The trial, before Sheriff Margaret Gimblett continues.
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Author:Denholm, Andrew
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 6, 1998
Words:465
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