Frank Lynch, who founded the Glasgow Apollo and managed Billy Connolly, has passed away aged 84.

The businessman was known for managing a number of legendary Glasgow nightclubs, as well as the iconic music venue which played host to some of the world's biggest stars.

Former pavilion manager Iain Gordon worked for Frank Lynch in the 1970s.

He said: “Frank was a trailblazer. In all honesty, I don’t know if the Glasgow club scene would’ve developed so successfully without someone like Frank Lynch at the helm.

"He was a great innovator. Not only did he run Apollo leisure, which featured the Apollo concert hall and Clouds disco he opened up a whole range of nightclubs such as Ultratech, the Savoy disco and incredible new bars such as Muscular Arms.

"Frank was always full of exciting ideas to bring in the punters. For example, in the Muscular Arms he had giant cartoons of the Broons and Oor Wullie with one for example featuring desperate Dan’s cow pie - with Oor Wullie having a pee into it.

“DC Thompson threatened to sue, but Frank just laughed.

The Herald:

"Frank Lynch was always the man to spot opportunity and he made the Glasgow club scene into what it became – thriving, buzzing and lots of fun. Very much like the man himself."

Lynch opened The Muscular Arms on Nelson Mandela Place in 1971. Known as "Glasgow's first pub for trendies", it's believed to have been the first establishment in the city where a bouncer would give you a swift knockback if you weren't cool enough to enter, with queues stretching hundreds of yards down the street.

Pop-art themed, it replaced the old Lang's and featured a Superman suspended from the ceiling, a literal dummy behind the bar and a classic car which appeared to be crashing through the wall.

Lynch was Billy Connolly's first manager, and it was he who convinced Michael Parkinson to book the comic to appear on his chat show in 1975.

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The Big Yin proved to be an immediate hit, with Frank telling the Sunday Mail in 2003: "Billy was making pounds 25 a gig when I first signed him. When I left he was earning thousands. I must have done something right."

He was credited with revolutionising Glasgow's nightlife with his company Unicorn Leisure in the mid-1970s, not least by opening the Apollo in 1973.

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On September 5 of that year Johnny Cash inaugurated the venue, which would go on to host the likes of David Bowie, Bob Marley & The Wailers, and The Clash.

The Apollo would close in 1985 but remains a legendary venue.

Lynch told the Daily Record in 2012: "I've promoted gigs at the London Palladium and Carnegie Hall in New York, both hugely important venues. The Apollo is right up there with them. If you could make it there you could make it anywhere.

"It became the benchmark for venues around the world. The audience reaction was off the scale."

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Other parts of Lynch's nightclub empire included Maestros, Silk's, White Elephant and the Savoy which is still in operation to this day.

He also managed the band Slik, which helped to launch the career of Midge Ure.

He sold Unicorn for £1million in 1979 and moved to Isle of Palms, South Carolina from where he operated a chain of upmarket car washes across Atlanta, Georgia, and Charleston.

In 1984 he took out a 20-year lease on a former stable and a garage on West 55th and 56th streets in New York to build a nightclub which featured an indoor diving pool and ice rink.

Mr Gordon said: "He had done all he could in the city, and he knew it was time to move on. And I believe he was very successful in America, with a car wash business and setting up nightclubs in New York."

He continued to be active in business in later life, taking over a non-league English side in 2012 and renaming them from Gilford Park to Celtic Nation.

The aim was to reach the Football League and to attract fans from across the Celtic nations but investment was pulled in 2014 and the team folded a year later.

Head of the Northern League Mike Amos told the BBC at the time: "What happened with Frank Lynch was a one off, he's built a good ground here, but the fair-weather fans have gone and small number of faithfuls remain - I guess that is what happens when the money goes.

"The dream a few people had is gone but the fact the team isn't just leaving the Northern League but folding all together is the most sad thing of all."

Mr Gordon said: "Frank always was an adventurer - and a really good guy."