Football pays tribute to Mr Dundela

The local football fraternity has paid tribute to former Dundela player and manager Mervyn Bell, who died on Saturday at the age of 78.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 7:17 pm

Bell’s association with the east Belfast club began in 1966 and he went on to win a remarkable 35 trophies including 11 league titles, seven Intermediate Cups and six Steel and Sons Cups over his four decades at Wilgar Park.

He was dubbed ‘Mr Dundela’ and last year the club recognised his contribution by unveiling a new ‘Mervyn Bell Stand’ as part of Wilgar Park’s redevelopment.

“It is with profound sadness that Dundela Football Club announce the sudden passing of our former Manager Mervyn Bell,” a statement from the Duns said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Former Dundela player and manager Mervyn Bell, who died on Saturday at the age of 78
Former Dundela player and manager Mervyn Bell, who died on Saturday at the age of 78

“The Chairman, Committee, Management, playing staff and members wish to express their deepest sympathy to David, Suzanne and the family circle at this very sad & difficult time.”

Larne chairman Gareth Clements also paid a personal tribute to Bell on social media saying: “Heartbroken, Mr. Football in my eyes has left the building. So proud to have extended the hand of friendship to my friend Mervyn Bell over the past few years to Inver Park, even more proud that he accepted and we waxed lyrical about the beautiful game.”

Bell also managed Northern Ireland’s Junior international side and Sean Ward thanked him for the confidence he showed in him as a young player trying to make his way in the game.

The Glenavon defender tweeted: “Really saddened by the death of Mervyn Bell. Selected me for the NI Junior International Squad when I was at Glentoran II’s and always had huge confidence in me. I’m certain he had similar impact on so many others. A true legend in local football.”

Ward’s former club Glentoran also paid tribute to the east Belfast legend.

“Glentoran would like to pay respects and offer condolences to the family of Mervyn Bell, who sadly died yesterday. Their deep personal loss is shared by the football community in East Belfast and far beyond,” the club tweeted.