GEORGE BURSTON was a former Liberal Democrat leader of Saddleworth Parish Council who ended his local political career as a Conservative.
But George’s greatest passion was arguably not politics but football and Oldham Athletic in particular.
So both worlds are mourning the 77-year-old dad of two and grandfather of five who died on Thursday, October 20.
“Dad was a Latics season ticket holder and always went home and away to support them,” said son Chris. “So, he’s seen all the ups and downs.”
Oldham’s first season in the top flight for 88 years – 1991/92 – coincided with George’s tenure as Parish Council leader.
In total he served from 1986 to 1998, sometimes alongside wife Joy, also a former Parish Councillor.
They eventually switched allegiances, making a comeback with the Tories and standing for the final time as candidates for Springhead lower ward in 2015.
George polled 760 votes and Joy 681 in their failed attempt to regain their seats on Saddleworth Parish Council.
George, who moved the family from Hollinwood to Springhead in 1967, worked at Ferrantis after giving up his television repair shop in Oldham.
He is survived by wife Joy, sons Chris and Nigel plus grandchildren James, William, Tia, Hannah and Charlotte.
“I knew George for about 30 years,” said Saddleworth Parish and Oldham Borough councillor, John Hudson.
“He was an unusual character but you couldn’t help but like him. He was very well meaning and very keen on Saddleworth. He was just a nice, pleasant chap.”