YORK grassroots football legend John Bell has passed away at the age of 72.

A baker by trade - first working in Walmgate and then at Fred's Bakery in Albermarle Road - Bell's claim to sporting fame in the Minster city was guiding Osbaldwick to an unprecedented decade of dominance in the York & District League.

Bell was involved with Osso from their early days following the club's formation in the mid-1970s.

The fledgling side made a strong start to life in the league, achieving four promotions in five years to go from division five to the top tier - and they did not look back.

With first-team coach and football chairman Bell at the helm, Osbaldwick won the league 10 times in 10 seasons from 1983/84 to 1992/93.

At the time of clinching their historic 10th title - thanks to a 7-0 drubbing of Cliftonville - league chairman Norman Sturdy told The Press: "It is a very impressive record.

"I can go back to Riccall United winning all before them, and Dringhouses won five or six, but I have not seen anything like this run."

Osso enjoyed one more league title before the turn of the century, in 1996/97, with Bell as chairman overseeing the work of manager Dave Taylor.

He then became the treasurer for York FA, a position he held until 2012.

He passed away last Wednesday following a period of illness.

He leaves behind wife Colette, son Bradley, grandson Bradley Jr, daughter Nicole Addison and son-in-law Craig Addison.

The family said: "He was an amazing man, for whom no matter how difficult life was, he would bring a tear of laughter to our faces every day.

"We will miss you so much but we will never forget the joy you brought into our lives.

"Rest in peace. Love you forever. Colette, Bradley, Nicole, Craig and Bradley Jr."

The funeral is at 11.40am on Wednesday at York Crematorium, with the wake at Osbaldwick Sports Club, to which the family extend an open invitation. The family request no flowers at the funeral but donations can be made to the British Lung Foundation.