Britain’s oldest football fan – who loved Derby County – dies aged 107

Britain’s oldest football fan who never missed listening to a single game of her favourite team on the radio has died – AGED 107.

Dedicated Dolly Smith followed Derby County FC for more than 70 years and always wore her scarf every time they played.

She remarkably only went to two matches – a friendly against Birmingham City to mark her 100th birthday and another against German club TSG Hoffenheim to celebrate turning 107 last summer.

Dolly Smith with her first husband, George Ratcliffe, from Alvaston, getting married at Derby Register office.

The lifelong Rams fan had suffered from a bout of pneumonia before she died on Sunday (11/3), hours before the team drew 0-0 with rivals Nottingham Forest.

One hearing about her death, the flags outside Pride Park Stadium were flown at half-mast.

There will also be a one-minute applause held this Sunday when Derby take on Cardiff City in the Sky Bet Championship.

 Brian Ratcliffe, 78, son of Dolly, Derby County Chief Executive Tom Glick, Nigel Clough, Dolly Smith 100, Michael Racliffe, 74, son of Dolly, Stephen Ratcliffe, 50, grandson of Dolly, at Derby County ground for Dolly’s 100th Birthday.
Twice widowed Dolly said the secret to her longevity was eating a bowl of Ready Brek every day.

Dolly, who had four children, four grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter, listened to every match from her flat in Alvaston, Derby.

Paying tribute to Dolly, a Derby County spokesperson said: “The club’s sincerest condolences are with Dolly’s family and friends at this time.”

Dolly’s favourite player was Rams legend striker Kevin Hector whose goals helped the club to Championship-winning glory in the 1970s.

Speaking after her 107th birthday last year, she said: “It’s all about eating porridge in the morning.

“I love having Ready Brek. That and Derby County FC keep me going.”

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