"Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us.
We will never hide from it. Never fear."
- William Struth

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Written by: John McCrae
Friday, 21st August 2015

Marvin Lee Aday, who took the stage name Meat Loaf, released a track from his 1977 album "Bat Out Of Hell", called "Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad". The single did reasonably well, reaching number 11 in the UK charts. The album fared much better, selling an estimated 43 million copies worldwide and staying in the UK album charts for an incredible 485 weeks.

As a rule of thumb in life, the title would do for most folk, try three things, get two of them is a decent batting average. To take the concept to football, most clubs would settle for a 66% winning average. The top clubs, of course, demand more.

On 11 June 2012, a trial began in America which rocked the sports world. Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach with the Penn State Nittany lions, faced 48 counts of child sex abuse between 1994 and 2009. It is suggested the abuse of children under Sandusky’s care dated back to the 1970s. On June 22, 2012, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse. Sandusky was sentenced on October 9, 2012 to a minimum of 30 years and maximum of 60 years in prison.


Three school officials were also faced charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, failure to report suspected child abuse, and related charges: school president, Graham Spanier, and athletic director, Tim Curley. Shortly after the scandal broke, Spanier resigned. As of October 13, 2014, he is also under indictment in Pennsylvania in connection with the scandal. The Penn State Board of Trustees fired Curley. On July 30, 2013, Curley was ordered by Judge William Wenner to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up. The Board of Trustees also fired head football coach, Joe Paterno. Paterno died of complications from lung cancer on January 22, 2012, only two months after his firing. The report of an independent investigation conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh and his firm stated that Curley, along with Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, Spanier and Paterno, had knowledge of past abuse allegations against Sandusky and concealed them, concluding that they "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade".

On July 23, 2012, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) removed all of Penn State's wins from 1998 through 2011 as part of its punishment for the child sex abuse scandal, eliminating 111 of the games Paterno had coached and won. The NCAA reversed its decision on January 16, 2015 and restored the 111 wins to Paterno's record. This latter decision still baffles and angers millions in the US.

Now, a commission led by Dr Andrew McLellan, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland, produced a damning condemnation on the abuse of children with the care of the Roman Catholic Church and the subsequent cover up of the abuse following a series of scandals, including the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the former leader of the church north of the border, and allegations of sexual abuse at the former Catholic boarding school at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands. Dr. McLellan said support for those abused must be an “absolute priority” if the church was to restore its credibility. He called for an “unmistakable and unequivocal” apology to the survivors of abuse and warned his report represented an “unrepeatable chance” to make things better.

The commission was set up in 2013 after Cardinal O’Brien resigned having admitted sexual misconduct following allegations from three priests and a former priest.

The 11 review commissioners, who include a senior police officer, a journalist and an MP, were tasked with assessing the quality of support available to survivors. It was not within the scope of the commission to investigate or adjudicate on current or historical allegations. The commission made eight recommendations, including calling for support for survivors of abuse to be an "absolute priority".

It also said justice must be done for those who have been abused.

Alongside the review, the church published details of “safeguarding audits” from 2006 to 2012, revealing a total of 46 allegations, or which 55 per cent related to sexual abuse and 19 per cent to physical abuse.

There have been no prosecutions in 61 per cent of cases reported. Fifteen allegations were made in 2013, six of which were historical.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the senior Roman Catholic churchman in Scotland, responded to the critical review by admitting Scottish bishops were "shamed and pained" by the suffering of those who had been harmed. One would imagine the bishops were not pained and shamed as much as the boys and girls, some of primary school age who were raped and otherwise abused.


Belatedly, then, we have two examples where vile, despicable crimes have been unearthed and brought to book (although, in the second case with no police proceedings). Frank Mulholland is the Lord Advocate, senior Law Officer in Scotland. Frank Mulholland attended St. Bernard’s Primary School and the now defunct Columba High.

The third saga is one well known in Glasgow but conveniently disregarded elsewhere. It, too, is an historic case of child abuse.  Briefly, in 1996, former Celtic player Alan Brazil disclosed that as a 13 year old player at Celtic Boys Club, he had been sexually abused by the club founder, Jim Torbett. Rumours had circulated for years about Torbett and young boys at the club - which acted as a nursery for Celtic and produced players such as Paul McStay, Charlie Nicholas, Tommy Burns, Roy Aitken, Peter Grant and Mark Burchill.

At his trial, it was revealed Torbett, a coach to the under-14 and under-15 sides, took boys to cafes including the Yellow Bird chip shop in Buchanan Street, Glasgow, to the city's Odeon Cinema in Renfield Street and to his flat. Alan Brazil spoke of his shock on his one and only visit to the flat when he saw Torbett and young players "hugging and kissing". When Torbett sat next to him and pulled his hand on to his trousers and kissed him he made an excuse to go to the toilet. "I washed my hands and said to another youth player David Gordon 'I'm out of here' and left."

Torbett was convicted of sex offences against three young players, Brazil, James McGrory and David Gordon. A jury at Glasgow Sheriff Court found him guilty of acts of shameless indecency between 1968 and 1974.

Torbett was later jailed for two years.

According to The Daily Record, Torbett wasn’t the only paedophile at Celtic. Another youth coach, Frank Cairney, was also accused of molesting children in his care. Again the Celtic hierarchy were well aware of allegations made against him. In 1996 they printed detailed tearful confessions from numerous former Celtic youth players telling of how Cairney had sexually abused them.

“Sick Cairney stretched across the front of his white Cortina and began to fondle me; Former goalie tells of sex hell... A former player told last night how sick Celtic Boys Club Godfather Frank Cairney molested him in the front of his car... It was common talk in the dressing room what he did... I was told the meeting had concluded and the outcome was that the boy's parents were quite happy to leave the matter in Celtic's hands, provided Frank Cairney resigned from the boys' club... [Celtic Chairman] Jack McGinn organised a meeting at 11am with Frank Cairney”

A Daily Record investigation team led by Celtic supporting journalist Anna Smith uncovered sports greatest scandal. In November 1998, they reported:

“JOCK Stein and the Celtic board covered up allegations made against Boys' Club founder Jim Torbett”.

“To a man, the Celtic board did nothing to expose the pervert and the dreadful scandal... Celtic manager Stein and the directors were anxious to keep the image of the club clean... If ever a story had been hushed up it was this one.”

Every bit as repugnant as the abuse is the cover-up which emerged during the evidence of Mr Hugh Birt, 61, the club's photographer who resigned as president of the Boys' Club in 1986. Mr Birt claimed that, after he became president in 1974, Celtic legend Jock Stein told him he had kicked Torbett out the door.

He (Stein) said the matter was all "covered up" by Celtic as to why Torbett was put out.

Mr Birt said that when Torbett returned to the boys club a few years later as a fund raiser the allegations about him started up again. He took them to Jock Stein, and told Celtic vice chairman Kevin Kelly about them but nothing was ever done. Mr Birt said when he became president of the Celtic Boys' Club in 1974 the first thing Jock Stein said to him was to "keep the image of Celtic clean". Mr Birt insisted allegations about Torbett had been kept hidden for 25 years.

Former Celtic directors Mr Kevin Kelly, 61, and Mr James Farrell, 77, said they never heard of any allegations concerning the accused.

More evidence of any cover up was revealed by the then Club Captain, and the man voted by Celtic fans as their “Greatest Ever Captain”, Billy McNeill, who stated “It was an open secret at Parkhead.”


These, then, constitute the “three” where heinous offences were committed against children and, eventually, the truth emerged. Only in the first case were the guilty individuals and the institution punished; in the second case, although the institution has admitted many instances of long and sustained wrongdoing and simply transferring the abusers to other areas rather than hand them to the police, it seems a “profound apology” will result in no criminal charges being brought. In the third case, the institution still maintains, despite evidence and admissions from their own employees that the abuse was not known.

Meat Loaf’s follow up album was called "Dead Ringer". A less well known track from it was entitled "Everything Is Permitted". At the Roman Catholic Church and at Celtic Park, this would seem to be true.


by Nineteen-SeventyTwo
by D'Artganan


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