Tributes paid to football lover Ernie

Ernie Bell
Ernie Bell

A football enthusiast who lived and breathed the game has passed away, aged 90.

Ernie Bell, from Amble, died last week. He has been described as a gentleman, who was quick-witted, friendly and full of charm.

A passion for football, he had an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the game within the North East and north Northumberland in particular.

Not only did Ernie play the sport, but he also served as a nationally-respected referee. He was a successful trainer and assessor and enjoyed working with young footballers.

Many serving referees were trained by Ernie, including top-class officials Mark Clattenburg and Michael Oliver.

He was a renowned scout and was well-respected by Liverpool and West Ham United.

Ernie served in the RAF.

His funeral takes place tomorrow, at Cowpen Crematorium, at 10am.