Hearts fan club secretary 'took £10k' from football charity

ONE of Hearts' biggest supporters was today alleged to have taken £10,000 from a soccer charity.

John Borthwick, 55, secretary of the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs is alleged to have forged signatures to obtain the money from the Willie Bauld Memorial Club, named after one of Hearts' greatest legends.

It is understood Mr Borthwick, who has been tipped to join the Tynecastle board, was released from the charity.

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But WBMC agreed not to call in the police after he paid back the whole sum, it was reported today.

Mr Borthwick, who works as an accountant for the NHS, was not available for comment today.

Mr Borthwick is today reported to be having a relationship with a colleague at NHS National Services Scotland.

In his role as secretary of the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs, Mr Borthwick was responsible for organising the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Heart of Midlothian War Memorial.

Mr Borthwick is understood to have divorced his first wife Norma, 56, in 2006. A year later, he married Diane, 59, but reportedly left her a few months later for his new love.

Mr Borthwick is alleged to have forged signatures, including Diane's, on a number of cheques over a period of two years.

A source at the Willie Bauld Memorial Club was today quoted saying: "He submitted a letter to our chairman, Wilf McLauchlan, claiming he had only borrowed the 10,000 to pay for financial problems he had run into due to 'problems' in his personal life."

The WBMC supports youth football and runs an annual tournament.

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A spokesman for NHS National Services Scotland said: "We are not aware of this at present, but we will look into it." A Hearts spokesman said: "The individual in question has been dealt with and we believe that is the end of the matter.

"The WBMC have done a lot of good work and have been very supportive of Hearts, particularly with youth development."

Earlier this year, Mr Borthwick was invited by Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov to fly out to Lithuania to discuss the club's future.

Hearts had discussed nominating a fan to its board of directors. And it is said Mr Borthwick believed as secretary of the federation of supporters clubs he would be first choice to be appointed.