Rolls regulars want answers on suspension of leisure-club guru

IN LIMBO -- Rolls Leisure Club chief Brian Willows (left) pictured at the opening of the site's new 3G five-a-side pitches earlier this year with Jez Corthorn, manager of Rolls's main Saturday football side

IN LIMBO -- Rolls Leisure Club chief Brian Willows (left) pictured at the opening of the site's new 3G five-a-side pitches earlier this year with Jez Corthorn, manager of Rolls's main Saturday football side

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SUPPORTIVE regulars are demanding an end to the mystery surrounding the suspension from his post of the chief of Hucknall’s Rolls-Royce Leisure Club.

Brian Willows (54) has been the main architect behind the transformation of the venue, off Watnall Road, into a thriving social hub over the last two decades.

He has attracted hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of investment and presided over the creation of extensions and a restaurant, the renovation of function rooms and the success of a flourishing gym.

Only this year, he unveiled state-of-the-art, third generation (3G) astro-turf football pitches, which were created at a cost of £150,000 and are the envy of many venues across the East Midlands.

But Willows has been sidelined since August as part of an internal investigation that is believed to stem from licensing problems which threatened to scupper the annual Party In The Park concert at Rolls in aid of the charity Help For Heroes. The result of that investigation is not known.

Now restless members of the social club and those behind sports teams based at Rolls are growing more and more frustrated.

As reported in the Dispatch last week, football and cricket outfits at the site are concerned for their future.

Terry Lancaster, who has been a regular at the social club for 25 years, held his 60th birthday bash at the venue in September.

He said: “Brian has basically turned that place from a shed into one of the finest social clubs in the East Midlands.

“Everyone is very frustrated about what has gone on. The big problem is that no-one knows for sure what has happened and is happening. We want answers.”

His thoughts were echoed by other regulars.

Colin Bancroft has been installed as caretaker general manager in Willows’s absence. He is also responsible for the social club at the Rolls site in Derby.

Despite repeated attempts by the Dispatch to contact him, Mr Bancroft hasn’t commented on the furore surrounding the suspension of Mr Willows.

Rolls-Royce’s Press office says the company will not comment directly.