Hunslet Hawks Rugby League Football Club has paid tribute to a fan – dubbed ‘Mrs Hunslet’ – who passed away last week.
Margaret Gibbon, from Woodlesford, was well known to both Hawks players and supporters as an active volunteer and colourful character in and around the South Leeds Stadium before she passed away last Monday following a short battle with cancer.
The 72-year-old’s passion for the club was recognised by fellow rugby league fans when she was voted Kingstone Press Fan of the Year in October.
The accolade won the grandmother-of-three a dream trip to Australia to watch the England rugby league team play in Melbourne last year.
Hunslet Hawks will mark her passing with a minute’s applause before the home game against Sheffield Eagles on Friday May 29, with her family catered to as guests of the club.
A statement from Hunslet Hawks said: “Margaret will be missed by everyone at the Hawks, from players to supporters. She was a real character who was Hunslet through and through. Match days certainly won’t be the same without Mrs Hunslet selling her raffle tickets – she will be missed.”
Fellow Hawks supporters and friends will be welcome at Margaret’s funeral, which will take place at Pontefract Crematorium on Tuesday June 2 at 11.20am, before the wake at Salute, in Rothwell. All donations made at the funeral will go to St Gemma’s Hospice and Marie Cure Cancer Care.
Liza Gough, one of Margaret’s two daughters, said: “Mum was so positive when she was diagnosed and that’s kept us positive and the support since her passing has been unbelievable – that’s what’s kept us going.”
Following the news, former club captain David Mach has donated his 2014 Grand Final shirt for the club to auction with proceeds being split between St Gemma’s Hospice, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Danny Jones Trust Fund.