13 October 2013 By Derek Alexander
THE 68-year-old's credentials are being probed as part of a wider investigation into the running of the national game at youth level.
A BUTCHER who went on youth football trips claiming to be a physiotherapist is being investigated by police.
Rodger Walker’s credentials will be probed as part of an investigation into the running of the national game at youth level.
We can reveal Walker, a Scottish Youth Football Association member, was also asked by health watchdogs to stop calling himself a physio.
The Health and Care Professions Council, who hold a register of all qualified physios, wrote to him after they were contacted by a parent.
The dad of a teenage boy who received treatment from him said: “My son had a problem with his hip and was told to see the physio.
“Walker then gave him a massage and told him he would be fine with some painkillers.
“We saw another physio after the problem failed to clear up and he diagnosed a chronic problem that needed proper rehabilitation.”
Walker, 68, is a member of the SYFA’s West Region and has been involved in youth football for more than 40 years.
He has travelled with youngsters on trips to Europe and the US.
He was one of the adults accompanying teenagers on a trip to America which prompted a separate investigation after footage emerged which may have breached the SYFA’s child protection guidelines.
We told last week how a DVD of the trip featured footage of the boys shirtless, swimming and sleeping. It is not known who took or edited the film.
HCPC bosses wrote to Walker in March and warned he was committing an offence under the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001.
He replied and gave assurances that he would stop calling himself a physiotherapist and make corrections to websites.
Last week, Walker claimed he had retired from football – despite completing an SYFA course in April.
He said: “I never said I was a physio, I said I was the physio.
“I’m a butcher by trade so I know a bit about muscles and bones. I’ve retired from football anyway.
“All I wanted to do was help boys get on but the game’s rotten now.”
SYFA sources say Walker was registered as a first-aider but are shocked that he was operating as a physio and treating players.
A spokeswoman for the HCPC said: “When we receive a complaint about someone using a protected title, we write to that person giving them the opportunity to respond.
“Following that, we send a cease and desist letter. If the individual still continues to use a protected title, we can seek to prosecute him or her under our order.”
Last week, the Sunday Mail revealed that the association were investigating a home video taken at a training camp which they say breached their child protection rules.
Footage taken during the trip to Sasvari Way Soccer Camp in Florida in 2010 included a young boy playing in a swimming pool and close-ups of a topless teenage boy as he slept.
SYFA chief executive David Little said: “Despite the fact this wasn’t an SYFA trip, we immediately launched an investigation and contacted police. Any police investigation must take priority before we can implement our action.”
Police investigated the film but didn’t bring criminal charges against anyone because it failed to meet specialist criteria.
But last week the SYFA suspended one coach and rejected a membership application from a man who was on the trip, which was organised by West Region secretary Jim Smith.
RBS worker Smith, who was awarded an MBE in 2010, and Walker are suspended with four other coaches after an incident at an under-17 tournament in Hungary in July.
It’s alleged that teenage boys managed to get hold of alcohol on the trip.
Police Scotland said: “We received a complaint regarding concerns that have been raised surrounding the conduct of some individuals who are either part of, or associated with, the SYFA. The inquiry is at a very early stage.”