Rob Gorski looks to forge ahead with plans to redevelop Bower Fold

ROB Gorski is to forge ahead with plans for Stalybridge Celtic to redevelop Bower Fold.

After learning that plan to relocate to a new stadium in the town won’t materialise, Mr Gorski, the club chairman and majority shareholder says the alternative is to carry out improvements at their current home.

Mr Gorski, 57, believes it is imperative that Celtic need new revenue streams if they are ever to regain former glories.

Rob Gorski

He explained: “National League North today is twice as professional, financially supported and technically able than when we were in the National League

“It has improved expedentially and that is why it is imperative we look at new revenue streams, something the vast majority of fans understand.

“Our plans to relocate didn’t materialise, but I hope they are behind plan B that is to redevelop the ground.”

Mr Gorski sees the generation of additional income is vital of they are ever to get back to the Conference, today’s National League.

He continued: “If we can get a ‘buy in’ to the idea of developing the ground, I would be genuinely very optimistic for the future.

“That would transform the football club and also our work in the community.

“I would dearly love to be back in the Conference Premier (National League) in the next five/seven years.”

Mr Gorski remains as committed as ever as he strives to make his home town team a force once more in non-league football.

After answering a Celtic SOS for financial 15 years ago from his old school acquaintance Keith Trudgeon, the Carrbrook-raised chairman, who is based in Monaco, says he would never join another football club.

To underline the point, Mr Gorski revealed he some time ago turned down the chance to become a director at Leeds United when Ken Bates was the owner.

“I often lunch with Ken in Monaco and he invited me on to the board at Leeds, but I told him I would never get involved in any other club,” he explained.

Mr Gorski, who said Celtic has “cost me a lot of money”, admitted non-league football is more challenging than it ever has been after Celtic were recently relegated to Evo Stik League, premier division.

Off the field, Mr Gorski is proud of the work done by Stalybridge Celtic Foundation that has charity status and which is self-supporting.

He says Celtic is a community club and points out they have disabled, over-50s ladies and girls’ teams, walking football and caters for all ages, social inclusion, gender, disability and health.

Mr Gorski added the Academy also provides education for 40 students to gain a BTech and may be have the opportunity to go to university or become a professional footballer, as Connor Jennings and Darius Osei did.

The Foundation is developing a programme which is being rolled out in 11 schools, is in partnership with the Manchester County Football Association on education projects, and works with the Prince’s Trust.

They have teamed up with the National Health Service on a get-fit challenge and also have drop in facilities the NHS is able to use and have links with Age UK, Parkinsons UK and the Alzheimers Society and helped with local foordbanks

Stalybridge Celtic Juniors, who have 300 children under their wing, are also being reintegrated into the main club, having been run independently.

Mr Gorski added: “We are genuinely for the community, not just a football club.

“As somebody who came from a poor background, I find it immensely satisfying to do things for people in need.

“In return it would be wonderful if more of the local population supported their local team.

“It is a great day out watching real football. There is a great atmosphere and the club needs the support of the local population.”

Mr Gorski described coming from a “very humble background”, recalling his father George was unable to work after being badly injured as a miner while his mother Edna wasn’t able to either because of a serious back problem.

“I remember on a Thursday we would have to switch the lights off as the insurance man and milkman was due and there was no money to pay them. We were that poor,” he said.

Mr Gorski’s love of Celtic was born as a boy when he was taken by friend Les Hayes and his father.

He harboured hopes of being a professional footballer and had county trials, explaining his greatest feat was scoring 15 goals for Stalybridge Boys in a 19-0 victory against Ashton Boys Brigade.

While that didn’t materialise, Mr Gorski, who went to St Peter’s and St Raphaels primaries and Hyde Grammar, went on to become a successful businessman after graduating.

Mr Gorski, who traded oil for BP, Marc Rich and Cargill, the largest private company on the planet, was forced to reassess his life when, in 2001 and aged 41, he found himself in coronary care with stress causing his health problems.

He and wife Debbie, a marketing director with Barclays, decided to quit their high-profile jobs declaring “happiness is more important than money”.

Mr Gorski’s friend Glenn Murray lived in Monaco and recommended the quality of life as well as working with him.

He said: “If Glenn had been in Manchester or Macclesfield, I would have gone to work for him as a broker – it just happened he lived in Monaco.

“I didn’t make enough money to retire when I had my health scare and I am not in Monaco because I want to live in a super-rich tax haven. It just happened my good friend Glenn lived there.”

Father-of-two Mr Gorski today trade currencies, equities and bonds for himself, saying he went from being a very ruthless businessman to enjoying life after his heart scare.

Mr Gorski, who gets to roughly one in three home games, describes Celtic as a “labour of love” but one of immense pride to have helped his home-town club.

 

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