DOZENS of former Clarets united yesterday to pay their final respects to club stalwart Arthur Bellamy.

Mr Bellamy, 71, died last Wednesday at Pendleside Hospice after a long illness.

Around 200 mourners packed out St John the Evangelist Church, Worsthorne, to say their goodbyes to the former Burnley player, coach, assistant manager and groundsman.

Clarets legends Jimmy McIlroy, Willie Irvine, Brian Flynn and former boss Stan Ternent were among the familiar faces in attendance for the funeral.

Another of Mr Bellamy’s former colleagues, Rishton-born Martin Dobson, delivered a moving and witty eulogy to his friend.

He said: “Arthur was a role model for any young player. His sense of humour brought a smile to everyone’s face, every day.

“He’s probably looking down on us now having a laugh with the rest of us. He enjoyed playing football but he was a real family man.

“If anyone asked him what he thought of being a professional footballer, he would say: ‘I’m very lucky.’ “I always thought we were the lucky ones to have come across such a wonderful human being.”

Laura Bellamy, one of Arthur’s five grandchildren, also gave a tearful reading while hymns including Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace and How Great Thou Art were sung.

Another former Claret, Mick Buxton, read extracts from St John’s Gospel.

Beforehand, Mr Bellamy’s cortège made its way along Harry Potts Way, where around 40 supporters and club officials lined up outside Turf Moor to acknowledge his 49-year association with the club.

He joined on trial in 1958 and made 250 first-team appearances between 1962 and 1972, before going on to fulfil a number of roles before his retirement in 2007.

After the funeral, Mr Bellamy’s widow, Maureen, and their sons, Andrew and Craig, joined the rest of his family and friends in a celebration of his life at Turf Moor.