Much-loved Hartlepool football chairman David ‘Buster’ Bellwood has lost his battle with cancer

David 'Buster' Bellwood.
David 'Buster' Bellwood.

A much-loved Hartlepool man has lost his battle with cancer.

David Bellwood, known throughout the town as Buster, died in the early hours of Wednesday morning at the age of 75.

Everyone in the town knew my dad

David Bellwood

Buster was well-loved by everyone who met him and hugely respected for his work in running a Sunday afternoon football league in the town, the Hudson’s Taxi League, for more than 30 years.

The former power station worker was also well-known across Hartlepool for his work as a pub and club bouncer, especially at the former Lighthouse club in Church Square.

Up until the age of 70, Buster was still working the door at The Royal in Church Street.

His son, David Bellwood, 53, said he has been moved by the outpouring of love for his dad and the lovely messages people have been leaving online about him.

He said: “Everyone in the town knew my dad. People are stopping me all the time saying how sorry they are to hear about his death.

“He just loved going out and meeting people, he was so popular.”

David said Buster had become ill with prostate cancer about three years ago, but the disease suddenly spread rapidly throughout his body.

He said: “It was horrible. I was relieved when he died because he was in so much pain.”

David said throughout his illness lots of people, many who he had never met, regularly turned up at the hospital to visit his dad, who made sure all the staff knew to call him Buster.

Football was his passion and he loved running the league and still went along to watch his son play in an over 40s team.

David said: “He came to watch every game I played. I’m not sure if I will still be able to play knowing he is not there.”

Hartlepool Mail sports writer, Roy Kelly, helped to run the football league with Buster and was great friends with him.

He said: “He was an incredible man and really well-loved.

“He always had time for people, always had a laugh, always full of life.”

Buster, also leaves a brother, Keith, two daughters, Mandy, 52, and 51-year-old Gillian, nine grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren.