Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett bitterly remembers the day he was first accused of abusing boys in his team because it was the first anniversary of his mother’s death.
He was giving evidence in the third day of his trial at the High Court in Inverness where he is accused of four charges of indecently assaulting and lewd practices one of his players between 1967 and 1968.
The 75-year-old said he didn’t recognise the man being referred to as A until he saw a photograph produced on the second day of the then teenager with him as well as Parkhead legends Jock Stein, Billy MacNeill, Joe McBride and Sir Robert Kelly.
A had accused Torbett of assaulting him in a toy shop, two restaurants, his mother’s flat and in his car.
But he said he remembered a second boy, referred to as B, on a trip to Canada.
B also accused Torbett of indecently abusing him in similar circumstances and locations and gave evidence against him in a previous court case.
Torbett told the jury: “I heard it said that Celtic football club funded that trip. Celtic didn’t pay for the trip.”
Defence counsel Jim Keegan asked him when he first learned of allegations being made against him that he had abused boys at the Boy’s Club.
He said it was in 1996 when he was running stalls at Ingliston Market and he felt he was being defamed.
“Only I was named. I remember the date August 12 because my mother had died on that day a year earlier. I thank the Lord she wasn’t there.”
He will complete his evidence on Friday.
The trial continues.