THE former treasurer of Celtic Boys Club has narrowly avoided jail after stealing thousands of pounds they had raised to send youngsters on a trip to Holland.
Caroline Boyd, 38, pocketed £3,000 which had been raised from players’ families and fundraising events.
She collected the money which she was supposed to use to book travel and accommodation to a football tournament in Holland.
However, Boyd, of Biggar, Lanarkshire, used all of the cash to pay off debts and never paid for the trip.
At Hamilton Sheriff Court, she admitted embezzling the cash between September 2010 and March the following year.
She was put on a 12 month community payback order and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.
She was also placed on a curfew for a month meaning she cannot leave her home between the hours of 6pm and 6am.
Sheriff Vincent Smith told her that it was only her lack of previous convictions which had saved her from a jail sentence.
Boyd was only caught when other bosses at the club noticed that hotels weren’t booked and there were no travel arrangements in place for an
upcoming trip to Holland.
The club, based in Tannochside, Lanarkshire, has sent teams across Europe to participate in tournaments for many years where they have faced top Dutch and German sides but the 2011 trip to Holland was nearly cancelled because of Boyd’s actions.
Team manager John Crichton said: “Alarm bells started ringing when the winner of a travel voucher at a race night still hadn’t received it two months later.
“Caroline Boyd said she got the voucher after booking 26 flights to Holland with the travel company but the company told us no flights had
“I then spoke to Caroline and she broke down saying she had spent all the money given to her.
“She claimed she had taken it on the basis that her husband was getting a £10,000 insurance payout and she would return the £3,000.”
But nearly three years after taking the cash, Boyd still hasn’t returned a penny.
When the club went to re-organise the highlight trip to Holland, prices for flights had rocketed meaning yet more fundraising had to be done.
Extra funds were also handed over by Celtic supporters clubs who had heard about what had happened.
Mr Crichton added: “She broke a trust and I’m glad she had pleaded guilty.
“She caused a lot of stress and worry and we had to work hard to make sure the trip went ahead.”
Boyd’s lawyer Nicholas Scullion told the court: “She completely accepts that her actions weren’t dishonest and knows she abused her
“She also accepts that at this moment in time she has not paid back any money to the club.”
Sheriff Smith said: “It is only the fact that you do not have a record that is stopping me giving you a custodial sentence.
“This was a particularly nasty offence and nearly stopped these young boys going on their trip away.”
Detective Constable Mark Cummings, who was involved in the investigation, said: “This was a particularly heartless case.
“Boyd claimed to be in debt but a lot of people are in that position and don’t go stealing from 14 year old boys.”
The Celtic Boys Club was set up as a nursery club for the Glasgow giants in 1966 and stars such as Kenny Dalglish and Paul McStay played with the club in their youth.