Harry Bell

Harry had replaced the late Rolando Ugolini as Boro's third-oldest living former player after the goalkeeper passed away at his home in Edinburgh on April 10.

Sunderland-born Harry played some wartime games for his hometown club before joining Boro towards the end of the conflict.

Originally an inside-forward, he switched to right-half with great success, playing 315 games over 10 seasons and scoring 10 goals.

He also played professional cricket for Durham and for Middlesbrough in the North Yorkshire and South Durham league and was a keen golfer.

After his retirement he lived in Newcastle, where he became a top executive for Tetley breweries.

He was diagnosed with vascular dementia around eight years ago and has been in the care home for around three years.

Harry Bell, left, watching Rolando Ugolini challenge for the ball along with Jimmy Gordon

Grandson Dan Geleman said: "He always spoke very proudly and passionately of his time playing alongside the likes of Hardwick and Mannion.

"After his playing days were over he went on to be good friends with Micky Fenton and they would socialise on a regular basis, including a visit to Wembley in 1990 for the Zenith Data System Cup final."

Known as a tenacious but fair tackler and noted for his hard work and bravery, he was only sent off once, ironically in a derby clash with Sunderland in December 1951.

"His love of football never left him and he often told that story about that game," said Dan. "It was early on and Len Shackleton came at him with his six studs off the ground, so he went over the top back at him and was sent off."

"He would also recall how football had changed - and how footballers today were nowhere near as good as they were in his day!"

Arthur Fitzsimons and his wife Val, daughter Maureen, son in-law Dermot and Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney at the FAI's headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin.

Former team-mate Arthur Fitzsimons, pictured above alongside his family, being honoured by the Republic of Ireland, was grateful for Harry's presence alongside him when tempers became frayed during games.

"Harry was a great player to have on your team," he said. "He could really get stuck in. I couldn't give a kick out but Harry would.

"When somebody gave me a right good dumping on the pitch, he would sort it out. Sometimes he'd say, 'I'll give you first kick and then I'll have the second one!'."

Harry's funeral service will take place at West Road Crematorium in Newcastle on Wednesday (April 30) at 1pm.

Rolando Ugolini's funeral takes place on Monday (April 28) at 11am at Morton Hall Crematorium in Edinburgh.