TRIBUTES have been paid to a former chip shop owner who was "always laughing and joking".

Valerie Grace, from Sutton, who was well-known in the community passed away aged 71.

She owned Val's Chippy on Extension View for around 20 years from 1992.

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Described as a "Sutton legend", Valerie was a popular figure and known as someone who "loved children".

Valerie leaves behind husband Robert and sons Paul and Ian and also six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Husband Robert said: "She was always laughing and smiling and was big-hearted.

"Everyone got along with her, especially children. She was family-orientated and good with children."

Youngest son Ian added: “Our mum Val was a true legend and a treasure to the Sutton community. She loved working in the chippy and loved serving all her customers young and old!

"She kept the children of the community entertained with her jokes and funny stories. Daily the children would congregate around the chippy for hours on end discussing all sorts of topics including the Saints, which was her passion amongst other sports.

"She was always joking and laughing and had a wicked sense of humour and was always very jovial. The chippy was a focal point for the children round here and is dearly missed.

A funeral service for Valerie takes place on Monday, December 16 at GreenAcres in Rainford at midday.