‘A modest, marvellous and magical man’.
That was one of the many tributes paid to Preston North End legend George Ross at his funeral on Friday.
A packed St Anthony’s Church in Fulwood, paid its respects to the ex-Lilywhites right-back who passed away earlier this month, aged 73.
Dozens of former North End players, including Mark Lawrenson, Graham Alexander, Ian Bryson and Mike Elwiss, were in the congregation for the service which was followed by a committal at Preston Crematorium.
Ross, a father of two and grandfather of five, made 441 appearances for PNE – including the 1964 FA Cup Final – and he was in the 1970/71 Third Division title-winning side.
For many years he was a matchday host at Deepdale in the hospitality lounges and boxes.
Simon Crabtree, a close friend who worked with Ross at PNE matches, addressed the service.
Mr Crabtree said: “Preston North End regulars will know it is not always fun at Deepdale but if you met George, you were always guaranteed a smile.
“I was lucky enough to share a few away trips with George, the last one being Wembley last year for the play-off final.
“That was George’s first trip back there since the 1964 FA Cup Final and he was so proud to head back there more than 50 years later to watch PNE.
“What made it even more special for George was that he was meeting up with his sons Andrew and Graham at Wembley.
“George was a modest, marvellous and magical man.”
PNE goalkeeper coach Alan Kelly read tributes from Ross’ wife Pat and his two sons
Kelly described Inverness-born Ross as a ‘proud Scotsman’ who lovingly described his family as ‘his clan’.
The funeral cortege was led away from St Anthony’s by a lone Scottish piper.
It later passed Deepdale, the ground which Ross loved so much as a player and later in his matchday host role.