Obituary: Eddie Healey
Billionaire businessman Eddie Healey, who was a key figure in Falkirk’s sale of Brockville and subsequent move to the Falkirk Stadium, has passed away.
The Yorkshireman died on Saturday aged 83.
In 1998 Healey’s company Stadium City provided the crucial loan of £1.4m which, coupled with the support of local investors, safeguarded Falkirk’s future.
With his brother Malcolm, Mr Healey worked with their father Stanley in the family painting and decorating supplies business and opened discount stores which became a big success.
After the stores were sold to MFI, he branched into property with the Meadowhall development in Sheffield and other ventures.
Meadowhall was derelict land when Mr Healey bought it with fellow developer Paul Sykes.
The completed retail centre, which opened in 1990, was the largest shopping centre in the UK. It was sold to British Land for £1.17bn in 1999.
Mr Healey made £420m from the sale. and went on to develop the £500m Centro in Oberhausen, Germany, Europe’s largest shopping centre.
He continued to live in East Yorkshire and gave generously to charities, preferring to shun publicity.
However, he did hit the headlines in 1995 after a masked gang broke into his home in the suburbs of Hull.
They tied up him, his wife Carol and their two sons, Tim and James, before escaping with an undisclosed amount of cash and jewellery.
He also became well known for his elaborate celebrations.
In 1988 he paid £100,000 to fly chart-topping US pop star Belinda Carlisle to England and hired comic actor Rowan Atkinson and radio DJ Dave Lee Travis for his daughter's 21st birthday.
For his 70th birthday party at the Dorchester Hotel in London, Eddie Healey spent £475,000, including £125,000 for a 45-minute set from Girls Aloud, and hired the comedians Russ Abbot and Bobby Davro.
For his wife Carol's 50th birthday guests were entertained by all-girl pop group Eternal and comedian Freddie Starr.
He passed after having battle illness for some time.
A message on the Falkirk website said: “Falkirk F.C. wishes to pass their condolences to the Healey family at this sad time.”