Dons legend Joe Harper backs Lee McAllister’s Aberdeen fitness complex plans

Joe Harper in action for the Dons
Joe Harper in action for the Dons

An Aberdeen legend has given his backing to a planned £10 million health-and-fitness hub being proposed by a city boxer.

King of the Beach End Joe Harper has offered his support to Aberdeen Assassin Lee McAllister’s plans for the former Cordyce School site in Dyce.

Cordyce School

Mr McAllister wants to create a fitness complex to cater for people with disabilities, cancer, alcoholism or who are homeless.

The facility will also encourage people of all ages to participate in physical activity.

Harper, the Dons’ record goalscorer, was keen to highlight the difference the centre could make for children in the area.

Harper says the health of the public, especially youngsters, and allowing them to interact with each other in a positive fitness-based environment, should see the Assassin Health Centre put first by the council, ahead of a garden centre idea.

Joe Harper

He said: “What we need are places for kids to go to.

“Aberdeen’s new stadium will provide football and other sports for kids, and Lee McAllister – one of the best boxers the city has had – wants to build something as well.

“He’s not building a boxing gym, it’s a facility for all sports to bring kids into.

“Even so, boxing training is hard and builds character.

“If you sum up the two things, a garden centre or a sports facility, which would you want for your kids?

“It’s a garden centre they’ll go into now and then, which sells buns and cakes, or it’s somewhere where they can work, get enjoyment, get out of the house and away from their iPads.

Paul Lawrie’s right behind it and I’m right behind it. It’s great.

“Anything like that which will benefit the next generation, I’m behind it all the way. Otherwise, we’re going to end up with a very fat generation.”


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Ex-Reds keeper and Gothenburg Great Jim Leighton is also behind Mr McAllister’s plans.

Aberdeen boxer lodges plan for £10m fitness village

The city council’s growth and resources committee will decide on November 29 whether to hand the Cordyce site over to Mr McAllister or Parkhill Garden Centre.

“Complications” around the offers delayed a call being made by the committee last month.

The garden centre and Seasons Coffee Shop, just off the B977 near Dyce, wants to relocate to the fire-hit ex-school to get away from the AWPR.

Bosses claim the salt spray from the bypass will damage plants and harm winter trading.

Plans for Parkhill Garden Centre

Affordable housing developer First Endeavour LLP is backing the garden centre plan and said it would work with it to build 60 homes, community allotments, a care home and a medical centre on the site.

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