2 Feb 2018 by Paisley Express Reporter
A former Paisley football coach accused of sexually assaulting young players has claimed he should have been given an OBE rather than being on trial.
Retired firefighter John Queen, 63, denies abusing eight youngsters over a 23-year period during a lengthy career as a boys’ club coach.
Queen faces 12 charges over his alleged conduct towards youngsters between 1984 and 2007 while he coached in Paisley.
He is accused of watching boys in the showers, drying them, and taking some back to his home, where he made them shower and then gave them naked massages.
The trial has heard from witnesses who played for him saying they had to shower after games and training.
One player, who is now in his late 20s, said he was left terrified after Queen — who is 36 years his senior — took him back to his home after a training session, led him in to the bedroom Queen shared with his wife and ordered the youngster to strip off and lie on the floor.
He insisted Queen regularly abused him over a three-year-period when he was aged between 12 and 15 — even preying on him in a school.
Queen claims a shower policy was introduced following complaints from parents who gave players lifts that the interiors of their cars were getting dirty.
And, yesterday, when he took to the stand to give evidence in his own defence, Queen claimed he should have been honoured with an OBE for his work with children in running football clubs.
Queen, who was working in a care home at the time of his arrest, said: “This last year has been a total nightmare.”
He said the claims have shocked him, adding: “You could’ve blown me over with a feather.
“I don’t know the reason. I don’t know the motive, but I was absolutely shocked.
“One of the former committee members said to me, ‘John, you should be given an OBE instead of this’.
“Boys who have been at the club and have been away for years have contacted me — they can’t get their heads around it.
“I’ve done boys’ clubs for years without a blemish.
“All I’ve ever had off people is gratitude.”
Queen said he must have managed more than 1,000 teenagers in his coaching career, had taken boys on countless trips to Germany, Holland, Spain and England and that it was only “a clique” of a few boys from one age group that had made allegations against him.
And he said that he thought his alleged victims were deluded about what they claim happened.
He said: “To be perfectly honest, I think it’s a figment of their imagination.
“There’s certain things they’re saying I think they made up, but there’s certain things that might have happened, but it didn’t happen the way they said it happened.
“I’ve been totally truthful.
“I’ve never been that way inclined and I don’t know where they’re coming from.
“I haven’t touched any of these boys.
“I supported not just these boys, but every boy that’s been a member of the club.
“I don’t understand why they’ve made it up.
“I don’t know why these boys have come forward.”
Queen, of Wallace Avenue, Elderslie, maintains his innocence and the trial continues.