A FOOTBALL coach who sexually abused young players and "stole" their happy childhood memories has been jailed for four years.

Elderslie man John Queen, 67, gained his victims' trust before luring them to his home for odd jobs and then massaging and groping them.

One teenager who passed out through drink woke to find himself "practically naked," with Queen performing a sex act on him.

Retired fireman Queen was found guilty of indecently assaulting two teenage boys at his Elderslie home and a school in Paisley on various occasions between November 2005 and October 2009.

For legal reasons, the remote jury at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court was not told he was cleared of similar charges involving eight boys over a 28-year period at the same court in 2018.

That trial ended with Queen's acquittal after it emerged one alleged victim lied in evidence to win compensation.

The first victim in the latest case was 14 when he joined a boys' club in the Renfrewshire area which was coached by Queen but, within a couple of weeks, he realised things were "strange."

The 29-year-old data analyst, who can't be named for legal reasons, said he and his team-mates were told to shower because parents had complained about their cars getting dirty – but Queen would watch them.

"Everyone's growing up at different times and, for me, it was severely uncomfortable," he told the court. "I didn't want to do it at all but, when it's the figurehead of the club, you're forced to do it.

"I must emphasise it was persistent. If you were in the shower with your boxers, he would come in and say to take them off.

"He'd kid on he was emptying and filling water bottles but he was watching."

The victim, who was left with a "sense of dread," said his parents had no car and Queen would give him lifts to training but also took him to his Elderslie home, where he would perform "massages."

He added: "John would basically get you down to your boxers, lie you on the bed and put gel on your legs to massage them.

"Then he would pull your boxers to the side and rub your private parts with his hands.

"I had growing pains under the knee but, to be that high, there was no need for it.

"He knew where the pain was and there was no need to pull a 14 or 15-year-old boy's boxers to the side to see his privates.

"It was frightening and, at the same time, you're in his house alone."

The victim said he felt unable to say anything to Queen about the abuse.

He added: "It's a difficult conversation to have with someone 30 years older, about why you can't come to his home.

"I didn't realise till I was older about how disgusting it was at the time. You just suppress it."

The second victim told the court of similar attacks by Queen while he pretended to be giving him a massage.

He went to the pub after turning 18 but woke up lying on Queen's couch, with his clothes beside him, being abused.

The boy's mother said he was "ashen-faced and shaking uncontrollably" when she saw him after the attack.

He didn't tell her all of the details at the time and asked her to "leave it."

Kevin Jarvis, prosecuting, told the jury both victims were "trying their level best to describe their lived experiences."

Sentencing grandfather-of-five Queen today, Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane said both his victims spoke of "doing what they loved most."

She added: "They joined a team where you were their coach. They looked up to you and trusted you.

"What you did was planned and you exploited the position of trust you were entrusted with.

"You stole from those young men the happy memories they should have of that time.

"You don't know the damage that might have caused them psychologically."

Sheriff McFarlane said any good deeds widower Queen had done in his life were "blighted by these convictions."

She added: "Society abhors this behaviour."

As well as being jailed, Queen has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.