SWIMMERS from across Leigh and Atherton are in mourning after the death of a much-loved official and club stalwart.
Patricia Gabbitas, pictured, known as Pat, was a member of Atherton and Leigh Amateur Swimming Club (ASC) for 30 years, serving in a number of roles including chairman, vice-president and volunteer co-ordinator.
She was also instrumental in helping to celebrate the club’s centenary a few years ago, and served the swimming community across the North West as a gala judge, referee, timekeeper and course organiser.
Mrs Gabbitas, from Tyldesley, died after a short illness on Friday, March 2.
Tributes flooded in from swimming clubs across Greater Manchester as Atherton and Leigh ASC, based at the Leigh Sports Village, struggled to come to terms with the news.
Club secretary Lev Baddley said: “What Pat didn’t know about swimming was not worth knowing. She was the go-to person when you had a question about anything to do with swimming.
“All the swimming clubs in Greater Manchester have been shocked at her death. We have had so many emails, cards and tributes, because she was so well known and well liked.
“She will leave a massive gap to fill in the club and the community as a whole, and is really going to be missed by everybody.”
Mrs Gabbitas leaves husband Roy, two sons Neil and Keith and two grandchildren.
Her funeral will be held at 1pm at St Stephen’s Church, on Manchester Road in Astley, on Monday, March 19.