Celtic Football Club has talked of "deep regret" over the abuse carried out by paedophile Jim Torbett.

The Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett was jailed for six years after being convicted of sexually abusing three boys over an eight-year period.

Torbett, 71, was found guilty after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow and denied the charges.

His victims included youth players Kenny Campbell and Andrew Gray, who had waived their right to anonymity.

Celtic said it had taken the allegations of abuse "extremely seriously" because of its "historic contacts" with Celtic Boys' Club.

But Janine Rennie, chief executive of the Wellbeing Scotland charity which supports victims of abuse, said Celtic's statement does not go far enough.

"Basically we were expecting a heartfelt apology, and that has not happened," she said.

Celtic Boys' Club was founded by Jim Torbett in 1966 with the permission of the then Celtic FC manager, the late Jock Stein and former chairman Sir Robert Kelly.

READ MORE: Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett jailed for six years for abusing boys

It was created as a separate entity from the football club, but it has been closely linked throughout its history and acted as a feeder club, producing a string of Celtic players including Roy Aitken, Paul McStay and Tommy Burns.

Celtic said: "Celtic Football Club wishes to express our deep regret that the incidents took place and sympathy for the victims who suffered abuse.


"We are grateful for the courage of those who have come forward to report abuse and to give evidence after such a long period of time.

"We have great respect for them and their families as they continue to cope with the distressing effects of the abuse they suffered."

Torbett had two stints at the Boys' Club, the first from 1966-1974.

He returned to the boys' club around 1980 and stayed until a series of newspaper articles revealed abuse claims against him in 1996.

He was jailed for two years in 1998 on conviction of abusing three former Celtic Boys' Club players, including former Scotland international Alan Brazil, between 1967-74.

Celtic added: "Although Celtic Football Club is an entirely separate organisation, we have always taken these allegations extremely seriously because of our historic contacts with Celtic Boys' Club.

"All investigations by the police and other inquiries were given our full support. We encouraged any individuals involved to report all information to the police so that matters could be investigated fully.

"Celtic Football Club continues to encourage any victim of abuse to report these crimes to the police."

The club said that after the allegations became known in the 1990s it took steps develop a new code of conduct and procedures to protect young people and became the first club in Scotland to appoint a safeguarding officer.

The club added: "The abuse of children is an issue affecting many areas of society, including a large number of football clubs, sports clubs, youth organisations, educational institutions and religious bodies across Britain.

"Celtic Football Club strongly believes that children and young people involved in football have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse and is committed to ensuring this and to promoting their wellbeing through continued cooperation with our children and young people, parents and carers and the relevant authorities. "

Ms Rennie added: "Expressing regret is not an apology. We all have regret of what happened to survivors.

"To say we have taken procedures and safeguards and say Celtic Boys Club have nothing to do with them doesn't make sense."