THE family of trailblazing former Labour MP, Maria Fyfe have remembered her as a “fierce” Partick Thistle supporter after they announced that she passed away yesterday following a short illness.

Maria Fyfe, 82, died peacefully at the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital yesterday morning after suffering from pneumonia.

Her family have looked back on some of their fondest memories.

Stephen Fyfe, Maria Fyfe’s son said: “She was always involved in politics. That’s something I was always aware of from an early start. Me and my brother were delivering leaflets and chapping on doors, even as kids. We were the only house in the whole of Ravenswood [in Cumbernauld] that got The Guardian and The Herald.

“Just after I was born, she had a few pieces published in The Herald and the Evening Times before boredom set in and she decided she would rather not be a journalist and she didn’t want to write mind-numbing stuff about skirt lengths and necklines.”

“She retired in 2001, but for the last 20 years she just hasn’t stopped. I quite often had to check before I visited if she was free.”

“She was always very supportive of Partick Thistle, she went more often than me. In 1998 when Partick Thistle were almost going bankrupt and she bought one million B-shares, which were probably worth nothing, but it was just a way of getting money to the club.”.

When Maria Fyfe was elected as MP for Maryhill in 1987 she was blazing a trail for many working class women, not only in the Labour movement but politics.

Tributes were paid to the campaigning MP from Labour, and also the SNP, after her family announced she died, aged 82, after a short illness.

Colleagues and opponents alike spoke of an inspirational figure, a fighter and principled campaigner.

At that election Maria was the sole woman out of the 50 Scottish Labour MPs.

Glasgow Times:

There were very few before her but since, there has been many more.

As well as Labour leader Richard Leonard and her many friends and colleagues in the Labour movement the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council acknowledged he impact she had.

Maria Fyfe, born in Gorbals, the daughter of Glasgow shopworkers, became MP for Maryhill in 1987 until 2001 when she stood down and was succeeded by Ann McKechin.

During and after her time as an MP she was a well kent face in the area and a regular at Firhill, supporting Partick Thistle.

Mr Leonard said: “Maria Fyfe was honest, principled and a pioneer, someone who fought for what she believed in to the very end.

“She was an inspiration to generations of Labour Party members, encouraging young people to become active to change the world around them, and leading by example.

“Maria believed a society built on equality, peace and socialism was possible, and it is our duty to uphold her memory by carrying on her work.”

Nicola Sturgeon spoke about Maria Fyfe at First Minister’s questions in Holyrood following a tribute by Mr Leonard.

She said: “Richard Leonard rightly said that Maria Fyfe was an inspiration to colleagues in the Labour Party, but she was an inspiration not just to colleagues in the Labour Party; for all my political life, I have been in a different political party but, when I was a young woman starting out in politics, she was one of very few women in the front line of politics.

“She was a feminist icon that I looked up to. I did not agree with her on everything, but I very much looked up to her and found her example inspirational.

“Many of us, particularly women in politics today but many others as well, owe her a great debt of gratitude.”

While Susan Aitken said of her: “Maria was a pioneer in many ways, a bonnie fechter and a great feminist.”

Malcom Cunning, Glasgow Labour group leader at the council, had a similar tribute. He said: “She was a bonny fechter and a trail blazer her entire life. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.”

After leaving elected office, Maria Fyfe continued to be active in politics and was a regular campaigner in the city.

Even up to last when she launched campaign for the party’s candidate, Pam Duncan Glancy in Glasgow North, which succeeded Maryhill as the constituency.

Ms Duncan Glancy said of her: “There is a great big Maria Fyfe sized hole in our hearts across the labour movement and beyond this morning. She was an outstanding comrade and a lovely friend. I am heartbroken she is gone.”

She never stood for Holyrood but campaigned for devolution and for efforts to ensure 50:50 representation of women in the new parliament

Glasgow Times:

She was the driving force behind the campaign to recognise housing campaigner, Mary Barbour, who organised and supported women in the 1915 rent strikes.

Her campaign culminated with the statue of Mrs Barbour leading followers at Govan Cross.