A WELL-LOVED former Mayor’s Secretary has undergone life-saving surgery after she suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Sally Hayes, who held the post for almost 22 years and had recently retired, had the three-hour operation after she became ill at her Westhoughton home last Tuesday.

The 57-year-old grandmother-of-three is now recovering in the high dependency unit in Salford Royal Hospital.

Sean Harriss, chief executive of Bolton Council, said: “Sally worked at the council for many years, supporting many different mayors and organising a whole range of events, from remembrance concerts to Royal visits.

“She has many friends here at the council. We are thinking of her family at this difficult time and we wish her a speedy recovery.”

Cllr Noel Spencer, deputy Mayor of Bolton and the last Mayor she served, added: “It has come as such as a shock.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.”

Cllr Spencer is good friends with Mrs Hayes and they were planning to meet this week for a catch-up.

He added: “She is making progress. I gave Jane, who worked alongside Sally a big hug when we heard she had regained consciousness.

“She recognises her husband Dave. It is a blessing he was at home at the time and could get medical attention quickly.

“The council has sent cards and message of support. The council will do anything it can to support or help in any way.”

When she retired, Mrs Hayes was described as the woman behind most civic events involving the Mayor.

She dealt with everyone from the Army to the Brownies, Buckingham Palace to Blackrod Town Council.