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Man U Alf marks his 90 years in the gameFootballer with Man U marks 90 years

By This is Kent  |  Posted: October 08, 2010

  • Phil Medgett. Pictured are Ellen and Alfred Bellis from Dumpton Park Drive in Ramsgate.

  • Phil Medgett. Pictured are Ellen and Alfred Bellis from Dumpton Park Drive in Ramsgate.

  • UNITED STAR: Alf Bellis, who celebrates his 90th birthday this week, looks back over his career as a winger at Manchester United THPM041010ELNALFRED-7

  • WARTIME FOOTBALL: Alf Bellis (front right) remembers playing to restricted crowds of 20,000 during the Second World War

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A WAR-TIME Manchester United footballer is celebrating his 90th birthday today.

Alfred Bellis moved to Ramsgate 25 years ago after working for an oil refinery.

During the Second World War, Alf was one of a few serviceman let out of work to play football on a Saturday.

He said: "They let us out at the weekends because football kept morale up."

The left-winger played for a number of clubs between 1940 and 1945.

Alf said Manchester City was the club to beat even back then.

He said: "I got to play two or three games at Old Trafford but the Germans bombed the ground and we had to share Manchester City's ground at Maine Road."

Crowd capacity was restricted to 20,000 during the beginning of the war but later rose to 40,000.

Alf still takes a keen interest in the game. He said: "I'm not a Beckham or Rooney. You don't get many left wingers these days.

"These days they kick each other out of the game but it was more about skill in my day. I think they should be paid well because they earn millions for their clubs. I earned £4 a week, double the national wage."

The great-grandfather, who scored numerous goals for the club, hopes to get together with his family this weekend for birthday celebrations.

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