A CELTIC Boys Club manager touched a 15-year-old’s private parts in a shower room at Celtic Park when the teenager was feeling upset after a game, a court has heard.

The alleged victim, now 52, said initially Francis Cairney was giving him a consoling hug because he was homesick and was “shocked” when the manager touched him inappropriately. The 87-year-old is charged with indecently assaulting one boy in the late 1970s and another in the 1980s at football facilities, and a third boy in a hotel room in Aviemore and a car in Cumbernauld.

Cairney, who has dementia, has been found unfit to stand trial for medical reasons and instead an examination of facts hearing is taking place at Glasgow Sheriff Court. He maintains his plea of not guilty to the charges and has been excused from attending the hearing.

It is alleged that Cairney indecently assaulted a boy then aged between 15 and 18 in the dressing room at Barrowfield training ground and at Celtic Park football ground in Glasgow on various occasions between February 1986 and December 1988.

Giving evidence, the 52-year-old man said he was contracted to Celtic as a teenager and encountered Cairney when, as part of that, he played for the Celtic Boys Club under-16s of which Cairney was manager.

He said that on one occasion, after a match at Celtic Park in 1986, he was feeling homesick as he had just returned from his family home abroad to live in Glasgow, and went into the shower room of the dressing room as he was feeling upset.

The witness said Cairney came into the room and asked how he was.

Prosecutor Mark Allan asked what happened next. The man replied: “Francis Cairney put his hands around me in a consoling way, I thought at the time. He was holding me and then he put his hand round my lower back.

“His hand was on top of the side of my leg. He moved that hand inside and touched my private parts and my lower stomach. I was still in my football kit.”

Asked by Allan how he felt at the time, he replied: “I was obviously shocked. I think I was still so sad at having to come back I don't think I really comprehended what happened.”

The witness also told the court that later in 1986 or early 1987, Cairney touched him inappropriately in the dressing room at Barrowfield, Celtic’s then-training ground.

The witness said that on both occasions, Cairney touched him under his clothing. He also told the court about an incident at Celtic Park, later in the 1986-88 time frame, when he said Cairney touched the inside of his leg.

The witness added: “For many years, I didn’t tell my family. I didn’t get any help really but I tried to keep playing the best I could. But I’ve never really fulfilled what I thought I should have really.”

It is also alleged Cairney, from Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, indecently assaulted a different boy aged between 15 and 16 in a car in Paisley and in the dressing rooms at Barrowfield on various occasions between July 1978 and June 1979.

He is further accused of assaulting the boy by punching and slapping him in the dressing room at Barrowfield.

The fourth charge alleges he indecently assaulted a boy aged between 15 and 16 at a hotel room in Aviemore and a car in Cumbernauld on various occasions between August 1988 and June 1989. The hearing, before Sheriff Tom Hughes, continues.