Alnwick Town Football Club pays tribute to much loved father, grandfather and supporter Nelson Balmbra

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Alnwick Town have paid a moving tribute to supporter Nelson Balmbra who has died at the age of 60 following a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Nelson, who “was a well known character in the town”, was a regular at the club’s games where he would come to watch his son Brendan who played for the Northern Alliance Premier Division club.

Players and supporters gave a rousing minutes applause in Nelson’s memory, with the message Nella 472 painted on the side of the pitch in recognition of his nickname and the number of the supporters’ bus which used to take him to away games.

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Nelson grew up supporting Liverpool and at the end of the match, as players left the pitch, an emotional rendition of the Anfield anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone could be heard across the ground.

Nelson Balmbra celebrating his 60th birthday.Nelson Balmbra celebrating his 60th birthday.
Nelson Balmbra celebrating his 60th birthday.
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Along with Brendan, the match was attended by Nelson’s daughters, Jolene Angus, 35, and Carly Balmbra, 37.

Jolene said: “Dad was a real family man and a hard worker with a brilliant sense of humour. He was passionate about football and used to play for local teams in the area including Percy Rovers. He also loved pool and won lots of trophies playing in tournaments."

Nelson was diagnosed with cancer on Tuesday November 30 and sadly passed away less than eight weeks later on January 24.

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Jolene added: “Initially when dad went to the doctors they thought it was a pulled stomach muscle. We are absolutely devastated – heartbroken. We didn’t think he would have such a short time and we have had no time at all to process it. Being at the game yesterday for the tribute was very emotional for all of us.”

Following the match, Alnwick Town AFC posted a message on its Facebook page which said: “Alnwick Town AFC would like to say a big thank you to all the family, fans, friends and the teams for yesterday’s tribute to Nelson Nella Balmbra #472 KTF.”

Nelson’s funeral will take place on Monday (February 7) at St Paul’s Church in Alnwick.

Jolene said: “Dad was so well known and people are travelling from all over the area tomorrow to attend the funeral.”

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Nelson, one of seven brothers and sisters, also leaves behind nine grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

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