Eric Bell - a loyal, one-club man of the old school PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 25 February 2021

eric bell.pngEric Bell, a loyal one-club man for Workington Town as both player and coach, has died at the age of 80.

“Ekky” had been suffering from dementia for the last year or so, and last month was taken into hospital with pneumonia, testing positive for Covid in the past week.

Hailing from Greysouthen, Eric was spotted by Town playing amateur rugby league for Broughton Moor alongside two of his brothers.

He had a very successful amateur career and after captaining Cumberland Under-19’s he was chosen to play for England Under 19’s against France in Bordeaux in March 1960.

Three months later he signed for Town, still only 19, and on December 3 made his senior debut in 18-3 home win over Swinton.

It was the start of a hugely successful association with the Derwent Park club, although the strong-running, penetrative centre learnt his trade in the A team for the first two years as a professional.

His first senior tries came in the 1962/63 season when he played 16 times but it was the following campaign when he really came to the fore, scoring 18 tries in 34 appearances.

Injuries were to blight his later career at Town but he was on the books for 14 years, during which time he made 203 appearances, with seven more as a substitute. He notched fifty senior tries for the club in that time.

As a coach he was a thoughtful, authoritative leader who helped develop some quality players through the A team and he was a very capable assistant coach to the first team.

Workington Town through and through, Eric was a loyal servant to the club in his time as player and coach. Old school commitment and loyalty meant a lot.

Eric, who worked at Chapel Bank for many years, leaves a wife Ann, son Michael and daughter Karen, who lives in Australia.

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