Glasgow & West Scotland

Motherwell FC launch child sexual abuse investigation

Fir Park Image copyright Ross Watson/Geograph

Motherwell FC has become the latest Scottish football club to launch an investigation into alleged historical sexual abuse.

The move follows Partick Thistle confirming former club physiotherapist John Hart was dismissed after claims about him emerged in 1992.

John Hart, who is now dead, also worked for Motherwell.

Motherwell said Police Scotland and the Scottish FA were fully aware of the nature of the club's investigation.

A statement from the Fir Park club said: "As a result of the extensive coverage relating to allegations of historic child abuse in football, the Directors of Motherwell FC began an internal investigation to ascertain whether it is possible any such incidents could have occurred at the club in the past.

"Having spoken to a number of people who had connections to the club in the period covering late 1970s and 1980s, we have decided to widen the investigation and have employed a forensic accountant to assist us with the examination of employment records and club documents from the period."

It added: "We have made both Police Scotland and the Scottish FA fully aware of the nature of our investigation.

"We will continue with that process, but all information collated to date has been passed to the relevant authorities. The club will wait until the conclusion of the investigation before making any further comment.

"In the meantime, Motherwell FC would urge anyone who may have been affected by abuse in football to contact Police Scotland or the NSPCC helpline (0800 0232642) set up to support and advise victims of abuse."

Partick Thistle confirmed on Wednesday that John Hart was the subject of sexual abuse allegations in the early 90s.

The club said: "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 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."

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