Police probe claims of sex abuse over ex-Hibs scout
POLICE are investigating allegations of sexual abuse which the Evening News understands are related to a former Hibs talent scout.
Gordon Neely, who worked for the Easter Road club in the mid-1980s, was sacked by Rangers in 1990 following an accusation of inappropriate behaviour.
The police investigation comes after a former Hibs youth player told how he and others were abused and allowed to drink alcohol by Neely during training camps in Perthshire.
And now another man has told the Evening News that Neely deliberately frightened young players at the same place while working with Edinburgh amateur club Hutchison Vale – who said they were unaware of any allegations against Neely, who died two years ago.
The man said he was ten-years-old when he encountered Neely during a training weekend at Dalguise with other young players at Hutchison Vale.
He described how Neely would take boys out late at night for “orienteering” in the woods and then said they could stay in his room overnight after scaring them with ghost stories.
He said: “What they would do was set guys up with lights – they would say ‘what’s that there?’ and try and scare you.
“Others were rushing about the woods and having to go back to what looked like a big haunted house. Then they would tell you ghost stories. They were only nine or ten years old – it was really frightening at the time. Everybody went up to his room and they would be drinking beer. I just knew it wasn’t right.”
The man said he felt Neely’s actions were “premeditated” and ended up calling his dad to come and collect him from Dalguise earlier than scheduled.
He added: “I have always said since I came back there was something not right about the whole place.”
The man spoke out after a former Hibs youngster said Neely would call them inside from training sessions before molesting them.
No-one at Hutchinson Vale was available for comment last night, but club leader Tam Smith previously said he had not heard of any allegations of misconduct against Neely.
He said: “I’ve heard of him and I know he was well known at the club before my time. But I’m not aware of any allegations being made about his conduct while he was here. I am aware things have been tightened up very much for the better.”
A Hibernian spokesman said: “We have not been contacted or made aware of the allegations but clearly this matter is of great concern and we will co-operate with any investigation to the fullest extent.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh have received a report of non-recent sexual abuse that took place during the 1980s and inquiries are continuing.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Football Association has apologised after a man said he was abused by coach and assistant referee Hugh Stevenson in the 1970s. Peter Haynes said the abuse began the day before the 1979 Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Hibernian.
It has also been reported that children were targeted at Hibs youth training camps.