Michael Owen has honoured Marie Roe, the long-serving travelling head girl at Manor House Stables who has passed away.
Marie, who helped the Chester-born England footballer start his Malpas stables, died on Friday (December 9) following a battle with cancer.
Tributes to Marie have come in from the racing community.
Owen said she was 'a great friend to so many and has left us far too early'.
The former Liverpool striker said: "Everyone at Manor House Stables are so saddened by the loss of our travelling head girl, Marie Roe, who passed away yesterday.
"Marie joined MHS 12 years ago when I first set the place up. She was a great friend to so many and has left us far too early."
Marie, originally from London, first fell in love with horses at the age of 10 after she first had riding lessons and worked in racing her entire life.
She moved to Cheshire in 2000 where she joined the Bearstone Stud stables.
Marie joined MHS as the travelling head girl, who is responsible for organising and taking horses to races, before it opened in 2007.
According to the stable's website she changed roles to become its barn leader in January.
Chester-based owner Nick Hughes, who has horses stabled at Manor House, also paid a personal tribute to Marie.
He said on Facebook: "So so sad to hear the passing of Marie Roe today.
"Such a lovely girl and a hugely popular figure at Manor House.
"Always gave you all her time to talk about your horse and have a laugh as well. Life really can be so short.
"Thoughts with all her family and friends."