Arthur Bellamy: Burnley's midfield stalwart who went on to serve the club as assistant manager, coach and head groundsman

 

There was no hint of stardust about Arthur Bellamy. Rather the blond, wryly humorous north-easterner cut a salt-of-the-earth figure as both footballer and character, a loyal individual valued immensely by Burnley, the club to which he devoted most of his working life. Throughout the 1960s and into the '70s he served the Clarets as a creative yet practical inside-forward, later returning to Turf Moor as coach, then assistant manager and finally as head groundsman.

Bellamy was a 15-year-old apprentice welder when he was spotted in a works team in County Durham. He arrived for a trial at Burnley in February 1958, the same week that Harry Potts became manager, and turned professional in June 1959.

Too green for involvement in the side which stunned the big-city brigades by winning the League title in 1959-60, he prospered at youth and reserve level, but even after helping to lift junior trophies in 1961-62 his path to the first team was blocked by the inspirational Jimmy McIlroy and the reliable Jimmy Robson.

However, Robson injured in March 1963, Bellamy scored on his debut in a 5-2 victory at Manchester City, then McIlroy departed unexpectedly. Bellamy's thoughtful distribution, accurate crossing and hard graft made an impact and he created countless scoring chances for Andy Lochhead and Willie Irvine.

He offered a goal threat himself, too, never more potently than at Everton in September 1963, when he struck a first-half hat-trick, and he was a versatile performer, sometimes playing s a rearguard sweeper. Yet for all his admirable effort Bellamy remained behind the likes of Gordon Harris, Ralph Coates and, later, Martin Dobson in the midfield pecking order, never quite cementing an automatic place but playing in around half the Clarets' games as – apart from a peak in 1965-66 when they finished third – the side languished in lower mid-table.

In 1970-71 Burnley were relegated, and Bellamy joined Chesterfield for £10,000 in July 1972. There followed four seasons with the Third Division Spireites before he was released in 1976. He took over a milk round and chip shop back in Burnley but missed the game, and in 1979 he returned to the Clarets as a coach, then became assistant manager to Brian Miller, helping with the dramatic escape from relegation from the Football League on the last day of the 1986-87 season. Later he became head groundsman at Turf Moor until his retirement in 2007.

Arthur Bellamy, footballer, coach and groundsman: born Blackhill, County Durham 5 April 1942; played for Burnley 1959-72, Chesterfield 1972-76; married (two sons); died Burnley 22 January 2014.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

Science Teacher (Swindon and Wiltshire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Science Teachers of all specialisms fo...

EBD Learning Support Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced Learn...

Science Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Science Teachers of all specialisms fo...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week