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Alf Bellis tribute

4 June 2013

Former player passes away

Port Vale would like to pay their respects to former player Alf Bellis who passed away on April 28 at the age of 92.


Liverpool-born Bellis played for Vale between 1938 and 1948 and made 84 appearances for the club.


Left-winger Bellis went on to play for Bury, Swansea City, Chesterfield, Rhyl Athletic and Colwyn Bay.


Born in 1920, Bellis played for Port Vale during World War II and was part of a selected group of footballers that would play as guests of other teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Rochdale and Notts County.


Bellis began his footballing career playing for Shell where he worked as a Laboratory Assistant.


Port Vale spotted his footballing talent and he was subsequently sacked by Shell because he started playing for Vale instead of the Shell football team.


As Alf was at Vale at the time of the Second World War he was called up to defend his country. Bellis’ main duty during the war was to load bombs onto outgoing planes. He would drive the trailers that would transport the bombs from storage to the plane.


After the attacking midfielders career finished in the mid fifties Bellis worked in a factory, making bags, paper sacks and other items.


At the age of 65 he retired and moved to Ramsgate Kent with his late wife Ellen.


Alf leaves three daughters Ann Ridell, Kate Meere and Norma Smith.


Ann Ridell, Bellis’ second daughter recalled how the former Vale attacker would be transfixed by football.


She said: “Dad was football mad, he loved the game, I remember when the results where being read out on the radio or television he would insist on complete silence.


“He even had us running down the road to collect the pink newspaper with all the sport news.”


Kate Meere, Alf’s eldest daughter recalls how the house was football mad, and his soft spot for Vale.


Kate said: “Our house was always full of footballers, after training they would come round and my mum would bake cakes and he would tell football stories.


“He was football-mad, he loved the game and Port Vale he would always tell us about Vale Park, after he retired he helped a lot with the charity Age Concern.”

Everyone at Port Vale would like to send their condolences to Alfred’s friends and family.


*Photo courtesy of  Isle Thanet Gazette

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