Bristol Rovers bids farewell to loyal supporter, 104

Kitty Thorne Image copyright Bristol Rovers
Image caption Kitty Thorne supported the team through dozens of managers and peaks and troughs in their fortunes

A football club has paid tribute to its oldest fan, who died three days after she turned 104.

Kitty Thorne began supporting Bristol Rovers in 1954 and had continued to take up her usual seat in the West Stand at the Memorial Stadium until recently.

Club president Wael al-Qadi announced her death on Twitter.

He said: "It comes as very sad news to me that my friend and proud Gashead, Kitty Thorne, has passed away."

Mrs Thorne, who lived in Wiltshire, got an appetite for football when she and her husband saw Rovers defeat Leeds United 5-1 on 24 October, 1954.

She used to travel by steam train from her home in Trowbridge and also attended many matches with her son, Pete.

The club hosted a party for her when she turned 100 and she won Supporter of the Year last season for her dedication over the decades.

A Bristol Rovers spokesman said: "Everyone at Bristol Rovers is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the club's longest-standing supporter, Kitty Thorne, aged 104.

"Kitty's support for Rovers began in 1954 and she continually followed the club with consistency and loyalty right up until now.

The club hopes to liaise with her family so all fellow Gasheads can pay their respects.

The spokesman added: "The club offers its deepest condolences to Kitty's family and friends; she will remain a cherished part of the club's history for years to come."

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