BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Phyllis Chapple-Perkins, the passionate Alabama Crimson Tide fan known to millions of radio listeners as “Phyllis from Mulga,” has died. She was 74.

Chapple-Perkins, who had been a regular caller to sports commentator Paul Finebaum’s radio show since 1993, died Wednesday morning following a battle with different health issues over the years, her family announced through her Facebook page.

“The world lost a good woman today, but Heaven now has a warrior angel the devil himself doesn’t want to cross,” her son, Christopher, wrote on her page.

Finebaum, who began his career in Birmingham before leaving for ESPN and SEC Nation a few years ago, paid tribute to Chapple-Perkins Thursday.

“An unforgettable force of a woman, she helped define this show as a place where college football fans could profess their passion and defend the honor of their teams- often loudly and always fiercely,” Finebaum wrote on Twitter.

Growing in Birmingham’s West End neighborhood, Chapple-Perkins traced her love of Alabama football early on to going to Iron Bowl games at Legion Field when she was a girl. In fact, her brothers would often work Saturdays at Legion Field during Alabama games to make extra money.

“It was just something electric about it,” Perkins told The Tuscaloosa News in 2018. “It was knock-out, drag-out football.”

Chapple-Perkins, who listed her job as “FULL TIME BAMA FAN” on Facbook, admitted that when she first began listening to Finebaum’s show in 1993, she was hardly impressed.

“When I began listening to him in ’93, I despised him,” Chapple-Perkins told the Birmingham Post-Herald in 2001. “I hated him.”

Then, one day, she decided to call in to the show to stick up for then-Alabama head coach Gene Stallings. The rest was history and she became “Phyllis from Mulga,” joining a group of beloved sports fans who would regularly call in to the show.

“In the world of local talk radio, ‘Phyllis from Mulga’ has become one of those call-in celebrities, listeners who dial their favorite shows so frequently that their voices are as familiar as their hosts’,” reporter William C. Singleton III wrote in a profile of Chapple-Perkins in the Birmingham Post-Herald in 2001.

However, Finebaum’s relationship with Chapple-Perkins went deeper than the airwaves. In fact, when she was undergoing surgery for lung cancer in 1996, it was Finebaum who stopped by to visit her.

“Phyllis is in many ways kind of part of the family,” Finebaum told the Post-Herald in 2001. “It started with kind of a rambling, raging call that she was defending (former Alabama football coach) Gene Stallings when somebody was attacking him, and really she’s become someone who is really important to us.”

As Alabama football began to reign high on the national stage under Nick Saban, Chapple-Perkins would be sought in national media, appearing in ESPN documentaries and interviews, always supporting the Tide.

“Alabama has put us on the map,” Chapple-Perkins told The New York Times in 2015. “Alabama has made us proud. Because there’s not a whole lot this state has been able to call proud because of the stereotyping.”

Chapple-Perkins’ funeral will be held Monday at Patterson Forest Grove funeral home in Pleasant Grove. Viewing will be at noon while the service will start at 1 p.m.