John Savage, the fhe founder of independent spares merchant Flame Heating Group has marked the retirement of Danny Byrne, the man who gave him his first big break in the industry.
Savage gave the lifelong Celtic FC fan a special autographed print featuring some of the club’s greatest players during a charity race night organised by the Tyneside-based company.
Byrne, who spent the last three years as Flame’s development director for Scotland, was responsible for establishing three trade counters in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayr.
However, in 1999, he appointed Savage as manager of the Washington branch of the Wolseley-owned Parts Center.
Savage founded Flame in 2011 and, when, after 26 years, Byrne took redundancy from Wolseley, Savage offered him the job of establishing Flame in Scotland.
Byrne said: “When I took the role, Flame didn’t have any sites north of the border and I set about finding the premises and recruiting the staff to build a strong platform to create thriving businesses.
“I gave John his first senior managerial job, something he has obviously never forgotten – as I really didn’t expect him to mark my retirement with such a thoughtful and generous gift.
“He was always ambitious so it’s no surprise Flame has become such a success. In addition, he was always a very likeable person who is considerate to those around him.”
Savage said: “I was pleased to mark Danny’s retirement with something I knew he would treasure.
“It was he who gave me the chance to become a branch manager and gain the skills and knowledge I needed to eventually set up Flame. When I wanted to establish branches in Scotland, he was the ideal person to make it happen.
“I’d wish him a long and happy retirement and thank him for all he has done both for me personally and for Flame Heating Group.”