SHE was a life-long Pompey fan who worked behind the scenes at Fratton Park on match days.
Devastated friends and family have paid tribute to Kim Blake, who lost her battle with lung cancer on Sunday. She was 56.
Miss Blake, who lived in Elm Grove, Southsea, worked at Fratton Park for more than 20 years.
Her duties included organising the catering at Fratton Park on Saturdays and her daughter Ciara Blake-Sullivan, 24, helped her work behind the members’ bar.
Miss Blake had to give up her roles after being diagnosed with cancer at the end of last season.
Miss Blake-Sullivan said her mum was ‘a little legend’.
‘She was a life-long Pompey fan,’ she said.
‘Though she was born in Wimbledon she moved down here after giving birth to me.
‘She was just amazing. A little legend.
‘She was always there when you needed her and a brilliant person.’
Miss Blake-Sullivan took her mum to watch Pompey play against Shrewsbury at Fratton Park the day before she died.
She said watching her mum cheering for Pompey was the lasting memory she had of her.
‘It was such a special day,’ Miss Blake-Sullivan said.
‘Her death came as a complete shock because she was full of life at the game.’
Miss Blake was taken into Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, at midday on Sunday after she developed an infection and died later that day.
Former Pompey winger Vince Hilaire, of London Road, Hilsea, was friends with Miss Blake.
‘She was a great friend of mine,’ he said.
‘She was just a very fun person who would do anything for anyone.
‘I saw her at the Shrewsbury match.
‘It was almost as if she came to say goodbye to everyone she knew.
‘When I heard the news I was devastated.’
During her life Miss Blake worked in the pub industry.
She ran The Wellington, in Old Portsmouth, between 2000 and 2003 and afterwards she became the bar manager at The Invincible, Portsea, before working at Monks Bar, Old Portsmouth.
Malcolm Drew, 48, of Kirby Road, North End, knew Miss Blake because he is a customer in Pompey’s members’ bar.
‘She was so hard working and conscientious,’ he said.
‘I can’t believe she’s gone. It happened so fast.’