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The founder of Manchester’s iconic gay village dies from coronavirus, just days after showing symptoms

Patrick Kelleher April 3, 2020
Glenn Stevens Manchester gay village coronavirus COVID-19

Glenn Stevens, who died from coronavirus (Facebook)

The man who is credited with founding Manchester’s gay village has died after contracting coronavirus in hospital, his brother has said.

Glenn Stevens died on Monday, March 30, in hospital where he was being treated after suffering a stroke. He had been displaying symptoms of COVID-19 for two days when he passed away.

The 74-year-old owned a number of pubs and clubs in Manchester’s famous gay village, including New York, New York, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Stevens’ brother David Green said he was “heartbroken” and called his brother a “great showman”.

‘Great entertainer’ Glenn Stevens, who founded Manchester’s gay village, dies from coronavirus.

“He was a great entertainer. He had a toxic tongue and would tell people what he really thought, but people loved him,” Green said.

Green said his “warm, loving and caring” brother worked as a DJ in Manchester nightclubs before he decided to take on his own venue in the 1970s. He set up Samantha’s, and later set up the well-known bar New York New York.

“There were no clubs around there back then, so he started the gay village. It was nothing like it is today,” Green said.

Glenn did not need to die, but he is just a statistic among all the others that have died now. People need to start taking this seriously.

“He was openly gay himself, but the scene was all hidden away before then. New York, New York changed that big time.” Green said that bar was his “baby” and he used to perform there as a compére at weekends.

Stevens owned a number of venues in the city throughout his lifetime, including The Thompson Arms, Strawberries, and Maxwells.

He handed over control of New York, New York 15 years ago, and in the last year, he had become unwell. He suffered a series of strokes and was recently hospitalised.

He contracted COVID-19 while in hospital after suffering a series of strokes.

While in hospital, he contracted pneumonia and was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. Green was told of his brother’s diagnosis over the phone by a doctor – he had been sick with sepsis and had been advised not to visit as he is also at high risk.

In a heartbreaking turn of events, Stevens died on Monday and his funeral was held the following day with only a handful of people in attendance to respect social distancing guidelines.

Green spoke of the particular sadness that nobody is able to visit him and talk about his brother because of the pandemic.

Green said that, just weeks ago, he was not taking the coronavirus seriously and thought it was being “blown out of proportion.”

“Glenn did not need to die, but he is just a statistic among all the others that have died now. People need to start taking this seriously.

“Coronavirus has robbed me of my brother. If people do not take this seriously they could lose their loved ones too.”

More: canal street, Coronavirus, glenn stevens, Manchester, Manchester's Gay Village

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