THE WIDOWER of a much-loved bingo caller who died after collapsing at work wants to thank the ‘generosity of Barnsley’ after friends, family and colleagues raised £4,000 in her memory.

Dorothy Goodfellow had worked as a presenter at Buzz Bingo, formerly Gala Bingo and Granada before that, since 1991.

She was just weeks shy of celebrating her 28th year with the company when she died from a heart attack.

Dorothy was just 56 and her death left her friends, family, and colleagues reeling.

“She loved her job, she really did,” said Dorothy’s husband, John, 60, from Hartington Drive, Honeywell.

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“She started her job on June 24 1991, on our daughter’s birthday, and she just loved it.

“I couldn’t believe what had happened when I got the phone call.

“Only the day before we had gone for drinks at Gawber Club to watch a band and on that day she had been playing with our grandson before heading off to work. There was no sign anything was wrong, she complained a little of heartburn but that was it really.

“We’ve been together for 38 years and to lose her so quickly was, and still is, devastating.”

The couple met in 1980 when John was working on a fairground in Barnsley and had three children, Claire, 37, Jenny, 33, and John, 34.

“I was going through a bit of a rough time and I was working on a fairground which was owned by the Shufflebottom family,” said John.

“My job was to collect the money from the rides and being young, I showed off to the girls as well.

“But then Dorothy came along to the fair and that was it, it sounds a bit cheesy but it was love at first sight. We were together for around six months before we got married and it was the best decision I ever made.

“When our children came along, Dorothy was the most loving mum, she was so proud of her kids and loved them to bits.”

In memory of Dorothy, staff at Buzz Bingo held a collection which raised £3,000 in just seven days. An additional £1,000 was raised through donations at Dorothy’s funeral and the sum will be donated to the Resuscitation Unit at Barnsley Hospital.

“I wanted to do something for the resus unit at the hospital because they brought her back for a precious few minutes for us to say goodbye and I will forever be grateful that we had the chance to see her before she went,” said John.

“When the staff told me they had raised the money in a week I was bowled over by it.”

Dorothy’s manager, Mandy Ryalnce, 58, said: “I’ve been at Buzz Bingo for 37 years and I was the person who interviewed Dorothy all those years ago.

“She was quiet when she first started but I saw her come out of her shell. She was always at the outings and things we put on and we were a team in the pub quiz.

“She always came to work with a smile and was well loved by everyone, we always had a bit of a laugh to get the day going.

“I was the one that found her in the toilet and I had to break the door down to get to her, it was really heartbreaking and she meant so much to everyone.”

To remember their friend and colleague, staff at Buzz Bingo have created ‘Dorothy’s Bonus Board’ in her honour so that she will always be a part of the club.

“I want to say thank you to everyone that donated or sent a card,” said John.

“Our kitchen table is overflowing with cards and the money raised shows how much she was loved. If the money helps just one person or one family then it will be money well spent.”