Widow of Seasiders' Cup hero dies at 88

THE widow of Blackpool FC legend Stan Mortensen has died aged 88.

Jean Mortensen was her husband's biggest fan and her love of football continued long after his death in 1991.

She was the guest of honour when a statue of Stan was unveiled outside the Bloomfield Road stadium in 2005.

And her family today revealed she was an ardent fan of Blackpool FC even before she met her future husband.

One of her grandfathers had played for South Shore.

Compared to wives of soccer stars in the modern era, Mrs Mortensen lived a more modest lifestyle, loving her job in the canteen at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Her great niece Susan Jeffery said: "She lived a completely full and rich life. She supported Stan 100 per cent in his football and he used to say that if it hadn't been for Jean, he wouldn't have been the man he was.

"Even after he had gone, she followed the football. When the World Cup was on, she would ring you and ask if you were watching the match!

"She had a very good heart and would help anyone. She loved her job as the cashier at the canteen in the hospital and even to this day people there said they missed her after she left."

Mrs Mortensen was the eldest of three sisters, all of who were very close. She spoke to her sister Betty, who is now the last surviving one of the trio, every day.

After collapsing at her home in Poulton, Mrs Mortensen died in The Vic on Wednesday with her family around her.

Miss Jeffery added: "She died peacefully in hospital with her family around her. She loved flowers so we are asking for lots of them at the funeral."

Stan Mortensen made more than 300 appearances for Blackpool and scored almost 200 goals. He came from the North East and met Jean when he moved to the resort to join the Seasiders.

The England international is the only player to have ever scored a hat-trick in an FA Cup final when he hit the back of the net three times in Blackpool's famous 1953 Wembley victory.

Mrs Mortensen's funeral will take place at 1pm next Wednesday at Carleton Crematorium.