Tributes have been paid to former non-league football star Scott Bell after he lost his brave battle with motor neurone disease (MND).
The former Blyth Spartans and Bedlington Terriers striker passed away on Sunday morning after suffering from the disease for more than two years.
The popular 35-year-old, who lived in Cramlington with his wife Louise and young son Elliot, had been diagnosed with the muscle degenerative disease in 2011 after symptoms first showed while playing for Bedlington Terriers in 2009.
After his diagnosis, Scott remained positive and set up the Scott Bell Fund to help raise awareness of the disease, so far raising nearly £79,000 to help fund new trials.
Speaking to the News Post Leader in 2011, Scott said: “If people want to help, all I want to do now is raise awareness of the disease.
“In my opinion, the only reason there isn’t a cure is because not enough people know about it.
“It’s amazing how much people are doing for me.”
Tributes have been flooding in for Scott, who joined boyhood club Blyth Spartans in 2004, helping them to the league and cup treble in his second spell at the club as they won the Unibond Premier League, Peter Swailes Memorial Shields and the Unibond Chairmans Cup.
A Blyth Spartans spokesman said: “Scott will be missed by everyone at Croft Park, not only as a great footballer but also as a great person to be around.
“The club would like to pass on its condolences to his wife Louise, his young son Elliot and his family and friends.
“Rest in peace Bellveccio.”
Writing on social networking site Twitter, Robbie Dale said: “RIP Scott bell goal machine great player even better person.”
Former team-mate Adam Bartlett, now with Gateshead FC, added: “Scott Bell, Spartans legend, Privileged to have played with such a good player and person! R.I.P.”
Scott’s former manager Rob Atkin wrote: “So sad to hear the news of Scott Bell. It was a real pleasure to have known him.”
Gavin Fell, assistant manager at Spennymoor FC, said: “RIP Scott bell, great player and a great lad, had the pleasure to be on the same side as him, my thoughts are with the family at this time x.”
For more information about MND visit www.scottbellfund.com