THE FORMER executive officer of Lothian and Borders Police's child protection office is to lead the Scottish Football Association's independent review of child sex abuse within the sport.

Martin Henry, who until October was national manager of child sexual abuse prevention charity Stop it Now! Scotland will head up the investigation which agreed to examine "processes and procedures" in place both currently and historically in Scottish football.

An SFA spokesman said that Mr Henry had over 40 years clinical and forensic experience in the field of child and public protection.

Concerns have been linked to seven Scottish football clubs. Four of them, Celtic, Rangers, Motherwell and Partick Thistle are in the Scottish Premiership and three are in the Scottish Championship, Hibs, Falkirk and Dundee United.

Former Celtic, Hibs and Falkirk kitman Jim McCafferty, originally from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire has been charged with sexual activity with a child aged 13 to 16 between December 2011 and December 2014 in Northern Ireland.

The Herald:

Partick Thistle confirmed former club physiotherapist John Hart was sacked about claims made about him which emerged in 1992. Hart, who is now dead, also worked for Motherwell.

Hugh Stevenson, a former youth football coach and top-flight assistant referee, has also been accused of a catalogue of child sex offences in Scotland.

A fortnight ago, Police Scotland said it was investigating 130 reports of child sexual abuse in football, with two arrests made, while admitting it is difficult to estimate the size of the stain on the game.

The sport was rocked by claims from former players across the UK that they were abused by people in positions of authority and Police Scotland launched a major inquiry into non-recent child abuse in football at the end of last year.

The SFA has says the review will consider whether or not and to what extent the Scottish FA was aware of the matters highlighted and now brought to its attention.

It will look into what steps were taken by the Scottish FA, its members or affiliated associations during relevant periods over the protection of children brought to its attention and to identify any failings or deficiencies.

The review will also examine what lessons have been learned since those incidents took place and following any investigations that have taken place "to ensure that the risk of abuse is reduced and where possible eliminated".

But it will only examine areas where the SFA has jurisdiction and will not determine the nature of any liability on the part of any individual or organisation whether that be criminal, civil or regulatory.

The SFA added: "To this end, it will work with all other relevant inquiries to ensure that, where legally possible, all relevant information is shared whilst ensuring that all criminal investigations are given primacy as appropriate.

"Any and all allegations of child abuse referred to the review shall be referred to the police in the first instance."

Mr Henry qualified as a professional social worker in 1974 and his professional expertise is in the investigation and assessment of child sexual abuse and in working with men who have problematic sexual behaviours including those who offend online.

His personal biography states that his professional career has been spent in child and public protection both in the local authority and until early 2008 with Lothian and Borders Police as executive officer of its child protection office.

He was national manager of Stop it Now! Scotland from 2008 till October 2016.

He has been a visiting lecturer and consultant at the Scottish Police College and a safeguarding adviser to the Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrew's and Edinburgh.

The SFA said he was currently vice convenor of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Survivors of Sexual Abuse; a member of the Scottish Executive Committee of the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA); and a life member of the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO).