• MySTV

Partick Thistle sacked physio over sex abuse allegations

The Premier League side confirmed it sacked John Hart in 1992 over the claims.

John Hart: Partick Thistle physio faced abuse allegations.
John Hart: Partick Thistle physio faced abuse allegations.

Partick Thistle sacked one of their employees in 1992 over abuse claims, it has emerged.

The Scottish Premiership side admitted on Wednesday that former club physiotherapist John Hart, who died in 1995, was dismissed after the allegations came to light.

After Hart's death, a tribute to him was published in the club programme while Thistle representatives and players attended his funeral.

The Glasgow club said they identified Hart's case as part of its response to the recent widespread allegations of historic child sex abuse in football.

They have now contacted the Scottish FA and Police Scotland to provide them with the information they hold and "will fully comply with any investigation".

The revelation comes as former Celtic, Hibernian and Falkirk kitman Jim McCafferty was arrested in Belfast over historic allegations of sex abuse against children.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1375045-scots-football-coach-held-over-historic-child-sex-abuse-claims/ | default

Hart worked for Thistle for two years as the club physio but also treated players from a number of other teams at his private practice.

A tribute published in Partick Thistle's programme after Hart's death said he was rated "as one of the best, if not the best, physio in the country" and then manager John Lambie "rated him very highly indeed".

The programme also said Hart "worked miracles for a number of Thistle players" and went on to praise his "most incredible sense of humour, which was marvellous for morale".

It finished: "The high esteem which John was held in was evident at his funeral, which was well attended by representatives of so many clubs and a lot of former, as well as current, Thistle players."

A spokesman for Partick Thistle revealed they were approached by an anonymous person seeking advice on who to contact over historic events.

He said: "As part of a proactive response to the emergence of alleged abuse in football, Partick Thistle has identified one historic allegation of abuse made against a former club employee, who is now deceased.

"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."

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1374970-former-youth-footballer-tells-of-sexual-abuse-by-scots-coach/ | default

The spokesman continued: "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 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 well-being 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."

The Maryhill club also dismissed reports that they had "covered up" the abuse allegations.

They said: "Since issuing our statement earlier this evening, some media reports have wrongly implied that the Partick Thistle board and management has known about an allegation of sexual abuse since 1992 and has covered it up.

"The current board and management knew nothing of this until an internal investigation uncovered it in the last few days. As a result, the club informed the SFA and Police Scotland.

"The club is being transparent and open about how it is dealing with this historical allegation and will continue to co-operate fully with the relevant authorities."

If you have been affected by the issues in this story, you can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0800 023 2642.

You can also share your experience with STV News, by emailing web@stv.tv or by calling the newsdesk on 0141 300 3360.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1373890-scottish-fa-calls-on-football-child-abuse-victims-to-speak-out/ | default

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.