STALYBRIDGE Celtic chairman Rob Gorski has paid tribute to Tameside Council leader Cllr Kieran Quinn who died on Christmas Day following a heart attack.
And Mr Gorski, who is also Celtic’s majority shareholder, is hoping Cllr Quinn’s sudden death will not derail plans to develop Bower Fold as a community facility.
Mr Gorski said: “I had met Cllr Quinn twice in the previous month, the last time one week before his death when he was fine.
“We were two thirds of the way to putting together a memorandum of understanding on ideas that would have helped both our club and the community.
“His untimely death has not only knocked those plans back but, more importantly, deprived a wife and two sons of someone they loved so dearly.”
Mr Gorski suspects Cllr Quinn’s death will result in further negotiations being put on the back burner until the Council regroups as an executive committee.
He added talks had progressed slower than he hoped, but were making headway at the time of Cllr Quinn’s death.
Mr Gorski explained: “I truly felt by the end of December we would have had a memorandum of understanding agreed and we would have been kicking on.
“But for no particular reasons, we kept hitting barriers and it was one step forward and two back.
“In the two meetings last month involving Kieran, MP Jonathan Reynolds and myself, we felt we had made giant strides forward.”
Mr Gorski hopes Tameside Council continue Cllr Quinn’s work in developing Bower Fold for community use as a legacy to the leader. It would involve laying an artificial pitch and also enhancing the facilities at the ground.
The Celtic chief also praised Mr Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, for his unequivocal backing for the development.
He said: “Jonathan has been tremendously supportive of my vision and was pressing Kieran to endorse in with the council.
“I am very grateful for Jonathan’s support and hope we can push on with it.”