Aberdeen’s Gothenburg Great goalkeeper has dived into a growing row over a former city school.
Former Dons and Scotland player Jim Leighton, who had two spells at the Pittodrie side, has backed champion boxer Lee McAllister’s £10million vision for the former Cordyce school.
Mr McAllister wants to create a fitness complex that would help the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, cancer, alcoholism or who are homeless and others.
It would include a gym, swimming pool and football pitches.
But the Parkhill garden centre is also eyeing up the site, warning that, without a move to new premises, the salt spray from the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) will damage its plants and stop it trading in the winter.
Affordable housing developer First Endeavour LLP has backed the garden centre plan and said it would add a medical centre, care home, allotments and some 60 homes to its £20million plan.
But last night Mr Leighton, 60, said he stood ready to help the boxer’s project “in any way”.
He added: “I’m pretty friendly with Lee and have been speaking to him about his idea since the start about a year ago.
“I think it is a fantastic project and, when it is up and running, I will do anything I can to help.
“On the recent press articles on the Health and fitness village, I wish to show my full support to Lee McAllister and the village.
“This is much needed facility and will be a massive asset to us all in the Aberdeen and surrounding area.
“It will be a fantastic rehabilitation site for helping people back to a normal life and back with their families after suffering from conditions like heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
“Lee’s determination to strive to keep the community involved, involving adults and children making it a unique community hub with huge benefits to the local area, is brilliant and a credit to him.
“The 4g pitch will have 15 youth teams playing and training amounting to 390 kids 20 adults and 54 coaches per week.
“The local swimming team will use the pool hosting 100 members.
“Everywhere I go and speak to about this are really enthusiastic about the plans coming to fruition.”