“She was to our club what Tom Finney was to Preston North End”, said members of New Meadow Street Labour Club after the death of its first woman president, Gladys Reid.
Mrs Reid, whose funeral was held on Tuesday at Preston Crematorium, was elected to the pivotal role in 2012, and as such, also became Guild President.
Patti Smith, club stewardess, said: “It was a massive honour for Gladys to become the first woman president, because until recently women weren’t full members.
“She was very proud of her role, and her enthusiasm really rubbed off on everyone. She was full of life and knew everyone in the club, as she’d been a member for years.”
Mrs Reid, who was 93, died on Friday, February 28, after having a fall at her home in St Ignatius Square.
She worked for many years in the canteen at Preston Royal Infirmary, and had a son Stephen and a daughter, Doreen, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She visited the Labour Club in North Street, Preston, three nights a week and also on Thursday afternoons.
Patti added: “She had a real love of life and a thing about an entertainer called Murray G Mac who plays in Blackpool. We we went three times a year to see him.
“He always got her up on the stage and made a real fuss of her.
“She was such a character, an absolute legend here, and she will be very sadly missed.”
Club member Pat Head, who was Gladys’s best friend, said: “She was fantastic, an absolute legend, and her death is a massive blow to us all.”
She added: “She was thrilled when she was made first lady president and everywhere we went, she’d tell people.
“She loved going to the H&A Club in Blackpool, and I think they loved her as much there as we did here.”
Club member Derek Hadley said: “She was very well known and a fabulous lady. She was always dancing and encouraging everyone else to get up too.”
Dozens of people attended her funeral and many from the Labour Club wore t-shirts bearing her presidential picture and the slogan ‘Our Gladioli’.