Tributes to Golden Girl Rita, a Chorley FC ‘hero’

Chorley FC supporter Rita Charnley, 83, left, on the terraces with her trademark  box of sweets
Chorley FC supporter Rita Charnley, 83, left, on the terraces with her trademark box of sweets

A football club is mourning the death of one of its true stalwart supporters.

Chorley FC will pay special tribute to Rita Charnley, 83, with a minute’s silence at tomorrow’s home match with North Ferriby Utd.

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Tributes have poured in for Rita, who attended Magpies’ home and away games for decades. She could be seen sitting in the main stand at Victory Park as part of the ‘Golden Girls’.

She worked as a cleaner at the club and was an active member of the Chorley FC Supporters Trust with her best friend Maureen Wardman.

Club chairman Ken Wright described her passing as ‘a massive loss’. He said: “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.”

Rita was the grandmother of former Wigan Warriors star Josh Charnley.

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

She leaves two sons, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.