Michael Foot memorial service held in Plymouth

Media caption,
Friends pay tribute to the life of former Labour leader Michael Foot

A memorial service has taken place in Plymouth to celebrate the life of one of the city's most famous sons, former Labour leader Michael Foot.

Mr Foot, who died at his London home in March aged 96, first entered Parliament in 1945 as MP for Plymouth Devonport.

He spent more than 40 years as an MP and was elected Labour leader in 1980 before stepping down after losing the 1983 election to Margaret Thatcher.

Hundreds of people attended the service at the Guildhall earlier.

Pilgrims passion

Plymouth Lord mayor, Councillor Mary Aspinall, was among those who spoke at the service, along with other councillors, members of Mr Foot's family and Plymouth Sutton & Devonport MP Alison Seabeck.

Paul Mariner, head coach of Plymouth Argyle Football Club, was also a guest speaker as Mr Foot was a lifelong supporter of the club.

His passion for the Pilgrims began when his father began taking him to matches at Home Park as an eight year old. In 2000 the club signed Mr Foot up as an honorary player to mark his 90th birthday.

Three days after his death football fans, players and officials joined in a minute's applause at Home Park to remember him at a match against Preston North End.

Mr Foot also worked as a journalist, historian and author in addition to being an MP both in Plymouth and later for the Blaenau Gwent constituency in Ebbw Vale.

His niece, Alison Highet, said: "He had a great enthusiasm and zest for life and he would be so pleased to have a tribute by the people of Plymouth.

"I think this really would be something he would value, more than anything in many ways, because this is where the family came from and this is where the Foot family have got their roots."

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