in Belfast. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Jim McCafferty, 71, who was involved in football in Scotland and Ireland from the 1980s, was arrested in Belfast by the Police Service of Northern Ireland after walking into a police station. McCafferty, who lives in Belfast, was formerly a kitman at Celtic.
He was charged with sexual activity with a child and is due before a district judge in Belfast on Thursday morning.
Det Supt Deirdre Bones, from the PSNI’s public protection branch, said earlier on Wednesday: “A 71-year-old male has been arrested by detectives after presenting himself at a station in Belfast. He was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences against children in Northern Ireland.”
Meanwhile, Partick Thistle have said they sacked a physiotherapist in 1992 over an abuse allegation. The club said they had been contacted anonymously for advice recently about concerns over “historic events”.
“The employee worked for the club for two years as a physiotherapist. As soon as the alleged abuse was raised in 1992, the club dismissed the individual with immediate effect.
“As far as Thistle’s current management can ascertain, no other allegations were made to the club at that time with regard to him or any other employee. The club has contacted the SFA and Police Scotland to advise them of what they know to date and will fully comply with any investigation.
“In the meantime, Partick Thistle would urge anyone who may have been affected to contact Police Scotland, the SFA, the club or the NSPCC helpline (0800 023 2642) set up to support and advise victims of abuse.
“In the last 24 hours, we have been approached by an anonymous individual asking for advice on who to contact with concerns relating to historic events. No details were given. The club advised he ring the NSPCC hotline in line with SFA guidance.
“Thistle regards the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people who have contact with the club, at whatever level, as being of paramount importance. The club will continue to uphold the strictest standards of compliance with all safeguarding legislation.”
In Scotland police have received information about alleged historical offences and will investigate. A spokesman said: “Police Scotland has received a report of non-recent sexual abuse and will commence inquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this matter.”