Arthur Bellamy: Burnley's midfield stalwart who went on to serve the club as assistant manager, coach and head groundsman
Wednesday 16 April 2014
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.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...