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By Richard Cross

Marine FC are deeply saddened at the sudden passing of lifelong fan and matchday PA announcer Graham Cowperthwaite.

Marine offers its deepest condolences to Graham’s family and the club intends to pay its respects with a minute's applause at the next home game against Workington on 23rd February.

Graham’s funeral will be on Thursday 21st February at 11.20am at Thornton Crematorium, returning to Marine afterwards.

Tributes poured into the Marine website forum yesterday following the news of Graham's sad passing including the following:

Community Officer Barry Lenton said:
"I am deeply saddened that Graham has been taken away from the Marine Family at such a relatively young age. He was absolutely passionate about Marine, spoke his mind on all things related to the club and had supported Marine all of his adult life. I think he had been our man on the tannoy for over twenty years. He clearly loved it and often injected moments of Scouse wit because he was, in many ways, a typical Liverpool lad, full of confidence but never arrogant.

He went to most away games and had a good knowledge of every team that Marine played against so from the start, if you engaged in any debate with him, you knew you had to know your stuff! Graham had a sensitive side as well. It was only a few months ago that he posted his concern about me when I was in hospital which meant a lot to me and all the messages that followed. Marine has lost a great son and brother and we shall miss his banging on the back of the stand to rouse the fans, we shall miss his wit, we shall miss his voice. Graham will never be forgotten. He was a loyal supporter and we shall miss him very much."

Friend and Marine fan Colin Skidmore wrote:
"We had some brilliant memories travelling the country watching Marine, and celebrating afterwards as well.

Worshipping Brendan Grant in some bar/club on Hardman Street, much to his amusement, was the end of one memorable night.

I'm completely numb, unable to believe what has happened and expecting to wake up soon.

He was very nearly my best man when I got married, and even though his dad died the day before my wedding, still helped us celebrate.

Raise a glass Gra, you'll never be forgotten, and one day soon we'll get that promotion up to where we should be.

"Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole.....Mariners, Mariners..."

Chairman of Marine Supporters Association Susan Nugent said:
"Graham was indeed the voice and sound of Marine to all of us Mariners and to those who visited our club. He had a distinctive deep, warm, welcoming voice and was ever the professional. He took his PA duties seriously and spent many hours preparing his music choices which were often themed depending on the time of year or choose in relation to how Marine were playing. I must dig out his match day music list following the infamous Hednesford coach fire which, I am certain featured Ashes to Ashes & similar musical references. He was passionate about his music, synth and indie were his great loves and we had a very eclectic music mix on match days. I still maintain, as I often said to Graham that he played the best music in the league. He had a dry sense of humour and a deep throaty laugh which I was lucky enough to hear often, drinking with him at many away matches.
His passion for Marine is well documented and he had opinions and he shared them freely.
I can still hear his voice in my head "and I've got no idea who the number 14 is either" and the sound of laughter that went around the MTA following this remark still rings loud.. My three boys all have their own memories of him, all three of them were as shocked and upset as me to hear the sad news of his passing. We Nugents shall all remember him banging on the back of the stand to get the Marine chants going. I hope that when Marine holds it's minutes silence or applause for him it ends with someone banging on the back of the stand Graham style and get's us all shouting MARINE! A suitable tribute and one Graham would like I think!

Goodbye Graham my friend. I shall raise a glass to you at Hednesford on Saturday and remember your love of a good away fixture. RIP."

Supporter Tony Keggin wrote:
"Such a sad loss to the Marine family, his pre-match music of late 70s/early 80s was always a good listen and some great one liners.
'Todays attendance 1709...please come back!!'. Superb! RIP Graham"

Marine Chairman Paul Leary said:
"Graham was a true Mariner, completely dedicated to the football club he loved. His sense of humour, personality and presence will be sadly missed by everyone at Marine.
The tributes that have been made are a real testament of him; he was a friend to anyone who met him."

Marine Vice Chairman Dave McMillan said:
"Graham was a loyal fan for decades, travelling under his own steam following Marine to many far flung places. He was dedicated to the PA role, rarely missing a game and was excellent at it, as well as getting the crowd going with the famous Rossett Rumble at the back of the stand. My favourite memory of him will be the exasperated "Hello...we're over here!!!" directed at hapless visiting bench occupants who waved their subs board in every direction other than the vital one...RIP Graham."

Updated 13:43 - 20 Feb 2019 by Dave McMillan

Where next?

GRAHAM COWPERTHWAITE - FUNERAL Arrangements for Graham's funeral tomorrow...
Golden Letter Draw Result - 17th February 2019 Winning Golden Letters for 17 February: D E Y

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