A woman credited with helping tackle gang violence in Glasgow has joined the board of the SPFL.

Karyn McCluskey, director of the Violence Reduction Unit, has been appointed as a non-executive director of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Ms McCluskey, a former nurse and forensic psychologist, has been working with teenage gangs in Glasgow for a decade and the VRU’ educational and diversionary tactics has been credited with helping to reduce territorial violence in the city.

Ms McCluskey said she hopes to help efforts to remove racism, sexism and violence from football and has accepted the role to help improve children’s lives.

She said: “I work with hundreds of children, many of whom love playing and watching football and their lives are often shaped by what they see on the pitch.

"I want them to be able to go to watch a game and, win or lose, know that sport is a great thing to take part in and watch.

"So I have accepted this role on their behalf. My wish is that we allow them to remain children as long as possible free from racism, sexism and violence in every area of their lives."

Ms McCluskey said while not claiming to be an “expert” on football she knows about changing behaviour.

She added: “I've worked in reducing all forms of violence across Scotland for nearly 11 years. I know what damage a small number of people can cause.

"I know it's serious. But football has been transformed from where it was decades ago, thanks to everyone's efforts.”

SPFL chairman Ralph Topping said: “Karyn brings with her a wide range of skills, experience and expertise, together with a strong independent mind set."