A MEMORIAL service was held today for former Bolton mayoress, Gay Wharton, on the one-year anniversary of her tragic death.

Mrs Wharton, 58, died in a hit-and-run incident on Chorley New Road, Bolton, on November 13 last year.

A noted champion of Fortalice and numerous other charities, she served as mayoress for Bolton alongside 2014 mayor Cllr Martin Donaghy and a second mayoress, Jacqueline Tracey.

Her friends, family and former colleagues were in attendance at the ceremony, including current Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas. 

Cllr Thomas said: "This is, of course, a sad day because we remember what she meant to us but also a happy one because we also celebrate her life. 

"She touched so many people and deserves to be remembered in this way. 

"Gay was a wonderful person that I proudly called a friend and I think the outpouring of love we've seen since her death demonstrates how much she was loved."

Two men were later jailed after causing her death due to dangerous driving. 

Former mayor Martin Donaghy fondly remembered his time working with Mrs Wharton: "As far as I'm concerned I know I made the right decision when I chose to work with her. 

"She was an amazing mayoress and I think people now feel that they've had the chance to say goodbye in a very pleasant way. 

"This morning we've all come together as a family to say goodbye to a fabulous Bolton lady who gave up so much for this great area."

Mrs Wharton is survived by her husband of 19 years, Stephen Wharton. 

Mr Wharton said: "To me, she was the most wonderful person I knew and was always so giving, thoughtful and caring.

"In her role as mayoress she gave up so much of her time for so many good causes and the people of Bolton and never asked for anything in return and I think that shows true kindness."

Mrs Wharton's sister-in-law, Sharon Bentley, added: "To put it plainly, she was the epitome of love, and therefore this was the perfect service for her. 

"She was selfless until the end and beautiful both inside and out, not a day goes by that we don't think about her and miss her.

"She was a part of all of our lives and we were so much better because of that."