Writer: SFC Forever
Date:Thursday June 3 2010
Born Mary Smith in the district of Shirley, she met 'Ted' shortly after he joined Saints in 1937 from Norwich City.
She married Edric Thornton (Ted) Bates in St James's Church Shirley on the 8th June 1940. That evening they watched Saints play charlton Athletic at the Dell.
Soon after the house in which they lived was bombed and they moved to West Wellow. Once there Mary began workingh for the N.A.A.F.I.
During Teds time at the Dell as a player Mary worked for the club as the secretary's assistant and then as PA announcer.
She finally left in 1958 to start a family. She stayed with Ted as he progressed from player to coach and on to manager.
when Ted handed over the reins to Lawrie Macmanemy he stayed on as his assistant. Nobody was happier than the Bates's when Saints duly won the FA Cup in 1976.
He then moved upstairs as a board member where he stayed for another twenty years. All the while he had his wife standing firmly behind him.
In 1998 Ted was awarded the MBE for services to football. At Southampton he was given the freedom of the city in the same year.
Widely regarded by saints fans as a hero for his 66 years of loyal service, he was widely commemorated in 2003 after his death.
The only possible sour note was the part of some Pompey fans during the game which followed his death.A minutes silence was barely able to last 30 seconds before it was ruined by their jeers and booing.
The media and fellow Pompey fans berated these fans as they were heavily criticised for their ignorance.
Mary was 88 years old when she passed away on May 25th. She will always be remembered as a Lady who was so closely associated with our club through her husband.
Her funeral is to be held at 11am on June 10th at the East Chapel of Southampton Crematorium. The family has requested that instead of flowers could well wishers make donations by cheque to the 'One Community Hillside Day Care Centre, via Nigel Guilder Funeral Directors of Chandlers Ford.
Date:Thursday June 3 2010
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