Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders pay tribute to beloved tea lady Madge Hunter

By Staff Reporter

One of the most familiar faces at Crusaders FC has died.

Tea lady Madge Hunter, who had been a fixture at the north Belfast club for half a century, passed away on Saturday.

Superfan Madge, affectionately known as the "best tea lady in Ireland", served tea, biscuits and sandwiches to many players, backroom staff, journalists and friends of Crusaders for more than 50 years at the club before retiring due to ill health.

Paying tribute to Madge, the club said: "She was a wonderful cheery lady who lit up the back room at the club with her friendly greeting along with the cup of tea freshly brewed, and it made many a cold day a lot warmer at Seaview."

Madge was a constant presence at the club even after retirement - and was guest of honour at many functions which also saw her attend Belfast City Hall in 2012 with the squad that won the League Cup and Setanta Cup that season.

She also travelled with the Ian McDonald Crusaders Supporters Club to away matches, and enjoyed the success the club had in the 1970s and 90s, as well as in recent years.

Madge received an MBE in 2012 for Services to Football and Bowling.

Last night the club extended its condolences to the Hunter family circle, saying: "Our thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of them."

Belfast Telegraph

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