TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved Chorley FC fan and supporter who has died.

Rita Charnley was affectionately known as one of the ‘Golden Girls’ at Victory Park who travelled to cheer on the Magpies for decades.

The 83-year-old lost a short battle with cancer last Tuesday but was well-known to all supporters.

Son Anthony said: “The football club was her life and she would have been black and white striped if you had cut her open.

“She had the best social life and if it was not supporting the football team then it was the cricket club. She was Mrs Chorley.

“I have been amazed by the support that we have had from people since she has been gone.

“She was a loyal person and never judged anyone and was too good for this earth. She was also the perfect grandma and was a selfless person.”

She was born in 1935 and Rita worked as a cleaner at the club over the years and was also an active member of the Chorley FC Supporters Trust. She leaves behind two sons, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

She was a dinner lady at Holy Cross School and also was named in the Hall of Fame at the Dick Kerr Ladies Preston.

Club Chairman Ken Wright said: “What a massive loss Rita will be. I first met her when I joined the club in 1983 and she was always there with her friends and family.

“Even from the start of this season, players would exchange words and she was very pro-active in the Chorley Supporters Club, now known as the Supporters Trust.

“As with everything in life, time moves on but she was without question part of the furniture here and you always knew where to find both her and Maureen in the club, sat just on the left hand side of the bar. She was very much an unsung hero off the pitch and will be greatly missed by everyone.”

Chorley FC Supporters Trust Chairman Dave Tindall also paid respect to Mrs Charnley saying: “Rita was a stalwart of the Supporters Trust and its predecessor the Supporters Club and played an active role in the Trust right up to her untimely death; attending our monthly meetings and organising the Player of the Month and Player of the Year trophies with fellow Golden Girl Maureen.

“Her enthusiasm for Chorley FC was undiminished by the passage of time and she welcomed our new Trust members and supported our events. Things at the club won’t be the same without her.”

Fans, players and officials are expected to attend the funeral service at St Gregory’s RC Church, Weldbank on Wedneday 7th February at 1pm followed by interment in the churchyard. The wake will be held from 2pm onwards at Victory Park Social Club and we’d like to encourage everyone to come down in their colours and help celebrate Rita’s life.  

Her family have requested that all donations are made towards St Gregory’s RC Church, Weldbank and Chorley Football Club Development Squad. For further enquiries ring Messers B. Livesey Ltd on: 01257 262602.