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A light goes out at the Press Club

Joan Ross, the Press Club’s tough old doorwoman, sadly passed away before Christmas.

Published on January 4th 2007.


A light goes out at the Press Club

Manchester Confidential is sad to report the death of Joan Ross, the first Lady of Manchester’s Press Club.

Joan, who was rarely seen without her trademark cigarette, had been a staple feature of the Press Club door for approximately 146 years - doing a better job of scaring away undesirables than the bouncers themselves and letting in some of Manchester’s biggest characters over the years.

Joan died suddenly in the early hours of December 21st 2006, whilst working the door. She will be sadly missed by her family and all who knew her.

Manchester Confidential raises its glass to you Joan. We hope that wherever you are, you’ve got a never ending supply of cigarettes and a bar full of brandy.

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Joan Ross, licensee of the Manchester Press Club, died at 4.40am on 20 December behind the bar of her beloved and unique Manchester Press Club. She was 69, and a legend in the dark world of the odd people.The toughest, the most dangerous, the richest and the most beautiful came.Joan often said - truthfully - that the Press Club had more celebrity drinkers that all the posh put together. Truly classless, prop shifters from the big G were one with the super-rich. In the last year, Freddie Flintoff, Johnny Vegas, Cilla Black and many others drank at no other public bar.Utterly blind to colour, class, creed, orientation, celebrity, wealth, talent or dress, she ran the only place to drink until 5am, 7 nights a week.Her youthful photo graced the Jack McCall memorial wall, and I hope the club will extend it to remember and celebrate this wonderful icon of Manchester's night world. How many people know of Joan, and have rushed to meet her self-imposed and legally irrelevant 3am curfew, premiership players and politicians taking a dressing down. A wonderful character, may she rest in peace.

David Atherton

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