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Former Celtic kit man Jim McCafferty arrested over child sex abuse claims

Jim McCafferty, a former kit man at Celtic, Hibernian and Falkirk, is arrested in Northern Ireland after confessing to sexual abuse of children in the 1980s and 1990s.

Former Celtic kit man Jim McCafferty has been arrested in Northern Ireland over claims of sexual offences against children.

The 71-year-old, who was a kit man at Celtic, Hibernian and Falkirk in the 1980s and 1990s, admitted in an interview with the Irish Mirror that he had abused four young players.

McCafferty, who now lives in Belfast, then gave himself up at a police station in Northern Ireland.

"I understand it was wrong, I was wrong and I did wrong and I am sorry. I have remorse. I know if I'm found guilty I will have to serve time and in my mind, I've said to myself that that's what I'll have to pay back for what I've done and I'm OK with that. I hope that will cleanse my soul. I'll take what's coming, there's no getting away from it," he told the Irish Mirror.

"I never raped a boy, no, nobody would even get away with that. Most clubs, most players would have been involved. It was part of the game. Without a doubt there are stacks of managers who wouldn't have but there's something different in the genes in me. Now I can take a breath again. My concern is if someone who hurts me when I'm walking down the street. I'm willing to face it.

"No-one has accused me of raping them but I cannot lie. My mind is working overtime, it's only natural. There are things I've done and I have to accept that. This is about me drawing the line. I don't want to hide anything. I have been haunted by what I did. I was lonely and they made me feel good. I wanted their company without a doubt although the greatest interest was football."

Detective Superintendent Deirdre Bones from the PSNI public protection branch said in a statement: "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. He is currently helping police with their inquiries."

Celtic have announced that they have been in contact with police over the incident and have urged other players to come forward with any evidence.


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