THE longest-ever serving member with Bury Lions has died at the age of 90.

George Brian Howarth, who was affectionately known as GBH, died at Fairfield Hospital on March 9 after being taken ill. He joined Bury Lions on March 2, 1972.

A widower, who lived in Hampton Grove, Limefield, he leaves a daughter, Anne, and son, Martin. His wife, Doris, died in 2005 after the couple had been together for 53 years.

His funeral will take place at 2pm tomorrow at the East Lancashire Crematorium in Radcliffe.

Mr Howarth served part of his education at Bury Grammar School and was an accomplished swimmer.

During World War Two, he joined the Home Guard, then the Royal Navy, serving on minesweepers in the North Atlantic. He want into a career in the motor trade until retiring in 1988.

During his 42 years with the Lions, he served as president in 1981-1982 and was heavily involved with the club’s annual carnival. He also acted as presenter and DJ on Bury Lions Hospital Radio.

In 1992 he was awarded the Lions’ highest accolade, the Melvyn Jones Fellowship.

Mr Howarth was also in the Royal British Legion, was involved with Greater Manchester Transport for Sick Children, Meals on Wheels, Ramsbottom and Tottington Probus Club, Rossendale White Ensign Association, RNLI and the Royal Naval Association.

Bury Lions president Jacqui Sorfleet said: “I had known Brian for my 11 years and had always been impressed by his dedication to all the good causes he supported.

“He gave 42 years’ exemplary service to Bury Lions and will be very much missed.”