Piers Morgan and Ian Wright lead tributes as Arsenal fan Maria Petri passes away

Tributes have poured in from the Arsenal community after the club’s famous fan Maria Petri passed away.

Maria was a well-known face at Arsenal men’s and women’s games, and was renowned for her undying passion for the club. She followed the teams home and away and was famous for her cheery demeanour, songs and chants.

Her support for Arsenal over the years has earned her many friends in the game. And messages of condolence have flooded social media since the news broke on Friday.

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Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright tweeted a picture of himself with Maria alongside a succession of crying emojis and broken hearts. TV presenter and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan tweeted: "RIP Arsenal’s greatest fan, Maria Petri. Never missed a game, and we always heard her chants. Magnificent lady & all-time club legend."

Ex-Arsenal defender Alex Scott wrote: “Arsenal through and through.. Thank you for the love, the passion, the songs and support for us @ArsenalWFC from the very beginning. We will never forget you Maria, We love you.”

Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs wrote: “We love you Maria. You are one of our own! We wear the shirt for you x.” Former Arsenal striker Kelly Smith wrote: “So sad she was @arsenal’s biggest fan both men and women. We will miss you RIP Maria. X”

Young Arsenal midfielder Charlie Patino wrote: “RIP Maria. We will all miss you!” ex-Arsenal player Gilly Flaherty said: "Can’t tell you how gutted I am hearing this news today. My time at Arsenal wouldn’t of been the same without Maria. Even after leaving Arsenal she made time for me every time I went back. Heartbreaking news. Rest in peace Maria, you will be missed so much."

In a recent interview withMundial magazine, Maria explained her passion for the Gunners. "I’m in love with the Arsenal. That's all I can say. Because I don't have a family of my own, not a nuclear family anyway, Arsenal are my family,” she said.

“The love for them just got hold of me and won't let me go. And I keep saying to people, 'I shall be oh so upset when I die.' And they say, 'why Maria?’ 'Well, I won't be able to watch Arsenal anymore’.”

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