HomeNewsClub NewsTRIBUTE | Goodnight Mrs Charnley by Josh Vosper

TRIBUTE | Goodnight Mrs Charnley by Josh Vosper

In life you come across some amazing people, even more so at Chorley Football Club. After learning the passing of Rita I was absolutely devastated. 

 

A light that has shone brightly within Victory Park has gone out. She was a beacon of goodness and a reminder to all of us that qualities such as honesty, loyalty and hard work matter deeply. Her legacy is so much, although not visual, but a reminder that anyone can help their local club if they want to - with the same passion and endeavour. 

 

When I first met Rita nearly ten years ago, her first remark was “Are you a photographer from the Chorley Guardian?” and I replied, “Yes, I freelance for the paper and submit my images every week.” Her eyes lit up as she responded “Oh love, you take some fantastic pictures. I collect them every week and give to our players, for those who don’t live local.” From that comment I knew this was a special lady, someone who had the importance of goodness in a world that too often lacks in. She was kind and polite who helped in anyway she could from the beginning to the end.  

 

She was undoubtably a kind and popular figure at this club, someone I admired deeply for everything she did from cleaning the toilets to editing the programme with Maureen - even altering one issue after proclaiming a player had “Sh*t over the bar.” There’s so many things she did it really would be hard to list them all and that’s tribute to the woman. 

 

After visiting her best friend Maureen on Wednesday she said: “We started the ladies section during the early 1970s and there was about a dozen of us. Every summer we’d come down and paint the club along with other odd jobs. The first thing we ever bought was a little lawn mower for Mick Wearmouth. We also arranged popular events such as dances and themed nights which were a tremendous success. Looking at matters on the pitch, one of our favourite players was Micky Telfer - who was 6’ 2” and had eyes of blue. Back then it was hard though, especially when we had two other jobs and had to bring up a family but we just got on with it. Obviously as we grew older, we enjoyed looking after the trophies and helping with the Player of the Year award."

 

She added: "Things won’t be the same and I don’t know what I’m going to do without her - but lucky I’ve other friends to help me out. Her family have been brilliant and as everyone knows, she was the sister I never had. People used to say we were joined at the hip and looking away from football, she was so supportive in terms of providing a helping hand. Whatever I did with my husband she was always included. In truth, we kept one another going and ultimately loved each other.”

 

Rita’s story is even more special because everything she did was voluntary. Coming to Victory Park week after week, game after game, over many years. People like her display commitment. Many times I’ve visited football grounds and gone back to a particular club and it has been the same person on the turnstiles or selling the programmes. Rita provided this not for financial reward but because she was loyal to Chorley Football Club. 

 

She believed what we stand for; community, shared endeavour, serving rather than talking and to work together, to do something. I’ll have my own memories of this amazing lady as will others and I can see her face now when I told her about getting the job as commercial manager, even receiving a congratulations card days later. 

 

Now is time to celebrate the life of a wife, mother, grandmother and great grand-mother who was beautiful inside and out.  

 

Goodnight and God bless Mrs Charnley.

 
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