A SENIOR councillor led a host of touching local authority tributes to a much-loved family man who passed away following a battle with coronavirus.

Beloved grandad-of-three Gordon McNeil passed away in his bed at home in Greenock on January 18, aged just 59.

Cllr Liz Robertson says the death of council foreman Gordon has left workers across the whole of the organisation devastated.

Gordon was a well known and hugely popular colleague in the council, enjoying almost 40 years of service.

Liz says some of the jobs Gordon did behind the scenes over his career may have gone unseen, but that they meant a lot to people.

Ms Robertson said: "A colleague said to me the other day that the Gourock Highland Games will never be the same again.

"Gordon was always there making sure everything was going well.

"So many people knew him and his cheery 'grumpy' face.

"He made sure there the nativities scenes had their baby Jesus every year.

"That may seem like a small job but it meant so much."

As Gordon was Liz's brother's brother-in-law, she spent a lot of time with the family.

She added: "He was so hospitable and just a great person.

"He worked for years and years to do right by his family.

"There was nothing he wouldn't do for you."

The team behind the Gourock Highland Games say they were 'heartbroken' to hear that Gordon had passed away.

A spokesperson said: "Gordon was part of our event planning team and worked so hard to make sure the games went smoothly every year.

"The day won’t be the same without his smile.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Gordon’s family and friends."

Gordon's work colleague Ian Cairns said when the news of Gordon's death reached the team, the mood in the workplace was of 'shock and disbelief'.

He added: "Gordon was a very popular and well respected colleague and friend within Inverclyde Council.

"He took a lot of pride in what he did and carried out his job to a very high standard.

"He was known as 'Mr Grumpy' as he always wanted things to be perfect.

"If they weren't perfect, he had a good moan.

"We've all lost someone very special.

"He wasn't just a supervisor - he was a friend and a very caring person."

Park-keeper Ian Brown started at Inverclyde Council at the same time as Gordon and worked alongside him and says he was 'well-respected by all the men on the ground'.

Ian added: "He was a great guy to work for and was always very helpful.

"Having this happen to Gordy has really brought it home to us how serious this virus is.

"He'll be sadly missed by everyone."