THE chief executive of Swindon Town Football Club said the absence of Doreen Dart would be felt at future games.

Nick Watkins has paid tribute to the stalwart councillor, who was at the County Ground match last week shortly before she died of lung cancer at Great Western Hospital on Friday night, at the age of 84.

Coun Dart (Con, Blunsdon and Highworth) was a keen charity fundraiser, dedicated councillor and an avid Swindon Town supporter.

“She was a 100 per cent attendee at all the games and she would take her place for each home fixture in the chairman’s suite.

“She was there last Tuesday but I did notice her condition had deteriorated,” said Mr Watkins.

“She remained incredibly positive. She was even at the point of booking her hospitality for the Aston Villa fixture on October 30. She was certainly looking to the future.

“She was a character and the world will be a poorer place without her.

“She would take her position at the end of the row just opposite the away directors. She was always very close to the directors area, that was her seat and that will be her seat for time to come.”

Mr Watkins said they would be paying tribute to Coun Dart in the programme for the Coventry game on Saturday and also in the roll call at the end of the season.

Tributes have also been paid to the former Swindon mayor by Kentwood choir’s musical director, Sheila Harrod.

“She rarely missed any big Kentwood concert. She loved the choir, she had a lot of respect for us. She was a very good friend,” said Sheila.

“It wouldn’t have been one of my audiences if she wasn’t in the crowd. The town has lost a stalwart. She was a lovely lady.”

Swindon mayor Mick Bray first met Doreen when she was mayor from 1993 to 1994.

“Even in those days she always struck me as lady to be reckoned with. Tall, upright, even to the time of her death, always immaculately turned out – even in jeans she made the first impression, with her expressive features, of being a headmistress of a girls’ public school,” he said.

“I will miss her, as will her fellow councillors, and even more so the people of Swindon for her tireless engagement in charity work.

“At 84 she was still sitting on 17 committees and five outside bodies. She was a true volunteer.”

Funeral details will be announced in the Adver in the next few days.