Former Latics secretary remembered with The Christie presentation

A CHEQUE for more than £1,000 has been donated to The Christie in memory of former Oldham and Manchester City secretary Bernard Halford.A group of City legends, including Colin Bell and Peter Barnes, presented £1,100 to Bell’s son, Dr Jon Bell, a consultant interventional radiologist at The Christie.

The funds were raised in December at a dinner at Denton Golf Club. Other Blues to attend the presentation were: Jim Whitley, Jeff Whitley, Alex Williams, Tony Book, Ian Brightwell and Michael Brown.

They were joined by Sky Sports commentator and City fan John Gwynne to pay tribute to Bernard who died in March 2019, aged 77, after a lengthy battle against cancer.

Colin Bell said: “Bernard was loved by everybody and we believe he would find it very fitting to have us here at The Christie, where he was cared for, meeting fans in his memory.

“He is very sadly missed but his memory will always be kept alive by our fans and we are delighted to meet so many of them at The Christie.”

Dr Jon Bell added: “Obviously it is very special for me personally to receive this cheque from my dad and particularly in Bernard’s memory.

“Manchester City is very close to my heart and it is great to see the connection the club has with The Christie charity and we are absolutely delighted that these icons of the club could generously donate not only the funds but their time.”

Bernard was appointed assistant secretary to the legendary Frank Buckley at Oldham Athletic aged only 18.

And when Ken Bates bought Latics and had a major cull of staff, Bernard found himself club secretary at the age of 22, the youngest person to hold such a post in football.

After 13 years at Latics, Chadderton-raised Bernard was lured away in 1972 to become secretary at Manchester City – he had followed them and Latics since the age of six watching the two teams on alternative Saturdays.

In 2006 Bernard was elected to the Club’s Hall of Fame – the only non-player to be bestowed this honour. And in 2010, Bernard became only the Club’s second Life President as he approached 40 years of service with City.

Derek Partridge, who manages the former players’ charity team, said: “We wanted to do something in Bernard’s memory and it seems right to be here on Valentine’s Day, as it is about love and we all loved Bernard.

“Bernard was very dear to all of us and we’re very proud to be able to donate the funds in his memory to The Christie charity. The staff here are all amazing and it’s great to have met so many fans.”

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.

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