A LEGENDARY Irish tea lady who served Newcastle United for over 50 years has died.
Tributes have poured in for Kath Cassidy, who first poured cups at St James’ Park in 1963, under iconic manager Joe Harvey.
In her time at the club Mrs Cassidy served under 26 different managers – with current Spanish boss Rafa Benitez her last.
Mrs Cassidy was adored by staff, players and fans alike.
She worked in the press suite on match days and became a popular figure with local media.
When she retired in 2015, the likes of Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger paid tribute to Mrs Cassidy, while Newcastle legend Kevin Keegan showed the esteem in which she was held when he said: "Players can be replaced, managers can be replaced, but people like you Kath are irreplaceable."
Of Irish descent, Mrs Cassidy was born in Newcastle with family hailing from Co. Derry. Her late husband was also from Ireland.
Her most memorable appearance came during a press conference in 2005 under then manager Graeme Souness.
So sad to hear the news about Kath. She was devoted to Newcastle, always made me smile and made the very best tea! Will miss her. ❤️ https://t.co/JpAC153f8g
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) March 28, 2017
— Joe Morrison (@joefooty) March 28, 2017
#nufc have lost one of their biggest supporters in Kath Cassidy RIP
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) March 28, 2017
Teammates Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer, who were sent off after fighting with each other in a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa, were served tea by Mrs Cassidy while making a public apology.
A spokesman for Newcastle United said: "Everyone at Newcastle United is deeply saddened by the passing of the club's legendary tea lady, Kath Cassidy.
"Our beloved Kath loyally served the club for half a century and was adored by managers, players and staff alike.
"She sadly passed away on Monday in Newcastle, aged 90.
"The thoughts of everyone connected with Newcastle United are with Kath’s family and friends at this very sad time."
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 28, 2017