LORD Doug Hoyle, a well-known face in Warrington has died.

The former Warrington North MP died aged 98 yesterday, Saturday.

He won the famous Warrington by-election for Labour in 1981 and served until 1997 when he moved to the Lords.

He served there until retiring last summer, aged 97.

He was also chairman of Warrington Wolves from 1999 to 2009, a huge fan of rugby league, he was still seen at home games. He would later become president.

Warrington Guardian: Lord Hoyle and captain Adrian Morley

His son Lindsay, Commons Speaker, announced the sad news on X.

He said: "It is with great sorrow that I have to announce that my beloved father, Lord Doug Hoyle, passed away peacefully at home late last night with his family by his side. The whole family are devastated.

"There are few people who get to my age with their father still around – but I have been one of the lucky ones. His death last night has left me bereft – I have lost my dad; my inspiration and the country has lost a truly dedicated parliamentarian.

"Doug loved his sport and as a massive Rugby League fan, became chairman of Warrington Wolves in 1999, a position he held with great passion and honour.

Warrington Guardian:

"Today there is an empty armchair, an absence of ready wit, and one less animal lover in the world. Above all Doug was a family man and he will be greatly missed by myself, Catherine, Emma, the great grandchildren and the whole family."

Warrington Wolves paid tribute on Twitter calling him a much-loved figure.

Speaking to the Warrington Guardian a decade ago, Lord Hoyle recalled that former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett had been short-listed to stand as a Labour Party candidate for the Warrington North seat back in 1981.

But she lost out to Lord Hoyle.

Lord Hoyle said: “She was involved in the campaign and had indeed been short-listed as a candidate for the seat but I was fortunate to get the call. I think Warrington would have benefited from either of us.”

Warrington Guardian:

The election made national and international headlines when Roy Jenkins, a former Labour chancellor, stood as a candidate for the newly formed Social Democrat Party, which eventually paved the way for the creation of the Liberal Democrat party.

After a closely fought battle, Labour held on to the seat with a majority of less than 2,000.

The campaign saw some of the biggest political heavyweights in the country visit the town from Harold Wilson to David Owen and Geoffrey Howe to David Steele.

There has never been another campaign like it in Warrington North which has now become a safe Labour seat. Although the Conservatives nearly sprung a huge surprise at the last General Election in 2019.

Lord Hoyle, who was MP for the constituency until he stepped down in 1997, added: “We weren’t only talking about Warrington nationally but internationally as well.

“The election brought me to Warrington and I must say, it was the finest thing to ever happen as it enabled me to come to the town and be part of a community which was growing and transforming.

“I am very proud to have been part of that change and something so historic.

“That by-election was the most famous of the last century.”

Lord Hoyle would also play an important part in the peace process following the Warrington bombing in 1993.

Warrington Guardian: Lord Hoyle and Mike Hall, with scarf, pictured centre at Saturday's event

Speaking on the 20th anniversary, he said he went with Warrington South MP Mike Hall to Bridge Street and found a desolate scene.

“They were still treating people when we got there who had been injured.

“We saw there were two bodies but we weren’t aware they were children. What type of people can do this?

“I did say I could never forgive at the time but I have spoken to Sinn Fein since and heard them apologise. And we had to overcome it and to bring about peace, which we have done.”