Youth football chiefs ban five coaches

Youth football chiefs ban five coaches following complaints boys were allowed to drink alcohol on trip to Hungary


1 December 2013 By Derek Alexander


THE Scottish Youth Football Association disciplined the men over supervision issues on the West Region under-17 squad's trip in July, with one coach handed a lifetime ban after claims he falsely posed as a physiotherapist.

A youth football coach has been handed a lifetime ban over claims he falsely posed as a physiotherapist.
Taxi driver Gordon Butler, 58, has been expelled from the Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) following an investigation into a football trip to Hungary.

SYFA West Region secretary Jim Smith – awarded an MBE by the Queen – has also been handed a five-year ban over supervision issues on the trip.



Three other coaches have been suspended – Gary Russell for a year, Johnny Hardie, 10 months and David Smith, 11 weeks.

All five faced disciplinary proceedings at SYFA HQ in Glasgow after it was claimed boys in a West Region under-17 squad were allowed to drink alcohol during the trip in July.
The SYFA investigated the claims about drinking and allegations that Butler had presented himself as a trained physio. They handed out suspensions last Wednesday. Butler, of Paisley, is a taxi driver in the town and has been involved with numerous youth teams in Glasgow and Renfrewshire.
He was banned after claims he gave physio treatment to players during the Intersport Youth Football Festival in July.

But Butler, who plans to appeal the suspension, denies doing anything wrong.
He said: “I never said I was a physiotherapist. I’m a first aider and treated boys for minor injuries like dead legs.”

Russell was on the trip as an SYFA children protection officer while Hardie and David Smith, a social work employee, were there as coaches.

All four men were suspended for failing to properly supervise the teenagers. One source said: “Butler was expelled for providing treatment when he wasn’t qualified to do so. There were also issues surrounding lack of supervision for the boys on the trip.”
Last month, we revealed SYFA coach Rodger Walker, 58, had been probed by detectives after he claimed to be a physiotherapist.
A complaint was made to Police Scotland but no charges were brought. Walker, who was not on the Hungary trip, resigned from the SYFA earlier this year but said he had never pretended to be a properly-trained physio.

Police also investigated a home video made on an SYFA trip to Florida in 2010 which was also organised by their West Region.
Concerns were raised after footage of topless boys emerged but detectives say no further action will be taken.
Jim Smith, 50, of Glasgow’s Carntyne, was on the U.S trip but his lawyer, Liam O’Donnell, said he denied any wrongdoing: “He actively encouraged a full police investigation.

“That investigation has now concluded and he was neither interviewed nor charged."
“He has been suspended by the SYFA for administrative matters only.”

David Little, chief executive of the SYFA, said that, following an investigation, “disciplinary action has been taken against a number of persons”.



David Smith, Russell and Hardie were unavailable for comment.

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