Former Celtic kitman arrested over sexual abuse claims

Jim McCafferty arrested in Belfast after confessing to years of abuse of young players

A former Celtic kitman, Jim McCafferty, has been arrested in Belfast after admitting to abusing youth players at the club during the 1990s. Photograph: Getty/ Steve Welsh

A former Celtic kitman, Jim McCafferty, has been arrested in Belfast after admitting to abusing youth players at the club during the 1990s. Photograph: Getty/ Steve Welsh

 

A former football coach has been arrested in Northern Ireland over sex abuse claims.

Jim McCafferty, 71, who was involved in football in Scotland and Ireland from the 1980s, was arrested in Belfast by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) after walking into a police station.

It follows an interview that McCafferty, originally from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, gave to the Irish Mirror newspaper.

McCafferty, who now lives in Belfast, was formerly a kit man at Celtic, Hibernian and Falkirk.

Detective Superintendent Deirdre Bones, from the PSNI’s public protection branch, said: “A 71-year-old male has been arrested by detectives after presenting himself at a station in Belfast.

“He was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences against children in Northern Ireland. He is currently helping police with their inquiries.”

In Scotland, police say they have received information about alleged historic offences and will investigate.

A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland has received a report of non-recent sexual abuse and will commence inquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this matter.”

McCafferty had spoken to the newspaper of a campaign of sexual abuse of young footballers over two decades, he said: “I understand it was wrong, I was wrong and I did wrong and I am sorry.

“I have remorse. I know if I’m found guilty I will have to serve time and in my mind, I’ve said to myself that that’s what I’ll have to pay back for what I’ve done and I’m OK with that.

“I hope that will cleanse my soul. I’ll take what’s coming, there’s no getting away from it.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.