Vale John Bell

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The Victorian Amateur Football Association mourns the death of John Bell, VAFA Life Member, who sadly passed away on Monday 23rd May 2022.

Over its 130 years, the VAFA has had exceptional people whose connection and contributions have ensured its very existence.

John Bell was an exceptional person.

His 40 year association with the VAFA started at the Bulleen Templestowe Amateur Football Club where he was team manager for the U19’s, including a Premiership in 1982 (coincidentally against Old Scotch) and on committee as club Secretary.

In 1990, being an old boy of Scotch College, he moved to the Old Scotch Football Club as team manager of the U19’s. Over the ensuing decade he filled a number of roles at Old Scotch including team manager of the seniors, club secretary and delegate to the VAFA. As a delegate John questioned, debated and provided sage advice on the state of football at club level.

‘Belly’, as he was affectionately known, joined the VAFA Board in 1999 and was Vice President from 2003 to 2008. He sat on various sub committees, notably the Permit Committee from 2000 to 2008 where he ensured, by his deliberations, the integrity of the Association.

In 2009, John was awarded a Life Membership of the VAFA.

VAFA AGM’s won’t be the same without Belly’s unmistakeable voice announcing himself “John Bell, Life Member” before throwing up a curly question. He was a keeper of the VAFA ethos.

John was a committed historian with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the VAFA. Until recently he was part of the VAFA historical working party who have spent numerous hours sorting and cataloguing the vast amounts of documents and photographs amassed by the VAFA.

Belly was a character with a wonderful sense of humour, scrupulously fair, generous of heart and a good bloke who cared.

He loved the VAFA, its clubs and its people.

The VAFA extends its sincerest condolences to John’s family and friends. He will be missed.

It was fitting that John narrated our 125th year commemorative video. We urge everyone to watch it below and take some time to remember a true VAFA person.

Vale John Bell.