ONE of Albion’s longest-serving fans, who followed the team for 89 years, has died at the age of 93.

Mary Emery, from Hove, died peacefully on Thursday, February 22.

Mary was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and moved to Hove in 1927.

She was educated at Aldrington School, before going on to Knoll School for Girls.

She had grown up wanting to be a nursery nurse but when the Second World War began, she could not follow her chosen career.

Mary enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Service and saw service in various parts of the country, including Liverpool, Manchester and Hampshire.

Mary was selected to feature in a couple of BBC programmes about the war.

During her long and varied career, she also worked in retail, including for Boots and toy store Gamleys, and an opticians before retiring in her early sixties.

Mary became a fan of Albion after watching them as a child beat Clapton Orient 1-0 on September 25, 1929.

She married her husband Ted in 1947.

Being the Seagulls superfan she was, Mary managed to persuade Ted to swap the team he supported, from West Ham to Albion.

After Ted died in 2002, Mary then started to attend more away games with other fans.

Her son Robert, who was with his mother when she died, recalls that she was still attending matches up until three years ago.

She attended the early matches at the Goldstone Ground before the club’s move to the Amex.

During her life-long support for the club, Mary was a significant part of the campaign for a new stadium to be built at Falmer, after fans were no longer able to watch their team play at the Goldstone.

When work began on the long-awaited Amex project, Mary was invited to attend an event marking the occasion as club chairman Dick Knight’s special guest.

She was also an active member of St Helen’s Church in Hangleton, which she joined in 1954.

Mary is remembered for being dedicated to a number of causes that were important to her over the years.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in her late seventies.

It was then that she campaigned to try to stop a breast cancer unit from being moved out of Brighton.

Mary is survived by Robert, her step-grandson Jeremy and her great step-grandchildren Andrew and Katie.

Her funeral will be held at St Helen’s Church on March 20, with a wake organised for later in the day at the Amex.