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VILE MAN ABUSED TRUST.

HE was the man who could make young boys' footballing dreams come true.

But last night Celtic Boys' Club founder Jim Torbett was facing jail after his conviction for sordid sex offences against three of their young players.

Since 1966, the club has acted as a nursery for world-famous Celtic FC, producing great talents like Charlie Nicholas, Paul McStay, Roy Aitken, Tommy Burns and current striker Mark Burchill.

Torbett, now 51, was a trusted figure in Glasgow youth football during the 1960s.

He was recruited to the Under-14 and Under-15 sides with the good wishes of the then Celtic chairman Sir Robert Kelly.

Over the years, hundreds of starry-eyed boys turned out for Celtic Boys' Club.

All of them shared the same dream - to one day play professional football.

But, for two players, the dream was cruelly shattered by their twisted coach Torbett.

Their departure from the Boys' Club had nothing to do with their talents or abilities on the pitch. Both fell foul of Torbett's sick and twisted mind.

David Gordon was so worried about Torbett's perverted antics that he feigned injury and hurriedly left the club, never playing football again.

Another young hopeful, James McGrory put up with Torbett's abuse at first because he was scared of losing his place in the team.

But he, too, was driven away from the club, and said: "I could not put up with his behaviour any longer."

Very few boys of their age make the grade as professional footballers like third abuse victim Alan Brazil.

But to rob them of their dream so cruelly at such a young age was nothing short of wicked.
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Article Details
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Author:Hardaker, Paul
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 13, 1998
Words:273
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