CLARETS legends have paid tribute to club stalwart Arthur Bellamy, who has died at the age of 71.

Arthur played 250 times for Burnley during the glory years of the 1960s, scoring 29 goals, and also served as assistant manager, reserve and youth team coach and head groundsman at Turf Moor.

Former Clarets player and manager Stan Ternent said: “He was Burnley FC through and through.”

Arthur died this morning at Pendleside Hospice in Colne Road, Reedley, after a long illness.

Jimmy Robson, who Arthur replaced to make his senior debut against Manchester City in 1963, recalled his most famous hour in a claret and blue shirt.

He said: “I think my best memory of Arthur was a game we played against Everton in the league. Andy Lochhead and Willie Irvine, our centre-forwards at the time, were both injured, so he and I played up front.

“Everton were a great team in those days but we were 4-1 up at half-time and Arthur got a hat-trick. We got battered in the second half but won 4-3.

He added: “He was a good lad and a great player. He had a great sense of humour.

“All the old players smile at the mention of his name. I have been to see him in the hospice and it was very sad.”

Mr Bellamy, originally from Blackhill, in Durham, signed professional terms with Burnley in June 1959, aged 17.

Andy Lochhead, one of Arthur’s former team-mates, said: “He was a good, hard-working inside forward who supplied many crosses for me and Willie Irvine.

“He was a terrific fella, on and off the pitch. His wife Maureen is also a good friend of ours and I feel very sorry for her.

“I have a lot of terrific memories, even apart from football. He was a terrific mate.

“He was a great player who kept himself very fit.”

Mr Bellamy was sold to Chesterfield for £10,000 in July 1972 but retired four years later and returned to Burnley to run a fish and chip shop in Briercliffe Road.

In 1979 he made a return to Turf Moor when Harry Potts offered him a coaching role with the youth team.

Frank Casper, who played and coached alongside Mr Bellamy, said: “He was, from the first day I met him, a great professional with a great sense of humour.

“I was in his company in training every day and he was a very good footballer and a typical Geordie. I will remember his wit and his sense of fun.

“Playing with him was a joy. He knew the game inside out. He was there when I went back as manager and I was lucky to get to know him even better.

“He did a very good job with the youth team then did a fantastic job as groundsman.”

From 1986 to 1989 Mr Bellamy served as assistant manager to Brian Miller, helping to oversee the Clarets’ dramatic win over Leyton Orient in 1987 which kept the club in the Football League.

He returned to the ground staff in the 1990s and tended to Turf Moor and the club’s training facilities at Gawthorpe until his retirement in 2007.

One month later, he was given a special achievement award for long service to the club .

Willie Irvine said he would be ‘sadly missed by the club’.

He added: “I was in digs with Arthur in Brougham Street and Brennand Street. He was the perfect professional.

“When he was groundsman on a Sunday he’d be up at Turf Moor putting the pitch back. He couldn’t stay away from the place.

Veronica Simpson, secretary of the Burnley FC Former Players’ Association, said: “His heart and soul was in Burnley Football Club both as a player and after he finished.

Arthur is survived by his wife, Maureen, and sons Andrew and Craig.