Partick Thistle sacked physio over sex abuse allegations
The Premier League side confirmed it sacked John Hart in 1992 over the claims.
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.
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."
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 email@example.com or by calling the newsdesk on 0141 300 3360.
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.