Richmond soldier gets MBE after coaching Army football team

Major Richard Bell.

An Army officer from Richmond has been awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Major Richard Bell, 51, a loyal Leeds United supporter, is a former pupil of Risedale School and Richmond School sixth form.

He was recommended for the honour after being at the forefront of Army football as a player, coach and administrator for over 20 years.

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In 2008 Richard became the first coach in the history of Army football to win a clean sweep of trophies in a single season – the Inter-Services Cup, the Inter-Corps Trophy, the Army Cup and the Signallers Cup.

Major Bell said: “I feel humbled by this award, particularly as being involved with Army, Royal Signals and Regimental level football has been an honour, a privilege and deeply rewarding in itself over the last three decades.”

Richard, is currently Second-in-Command at 22 Signal Regiment at Beacon Barracks, Stafford.

He has coached and managed at Regimental, Corps and Army level since suffering a serious knee injury in 1989.

He is currently the Army Veterans Team Manager and recently took the team to the World Masters’ Games in Auckland, New Zealand, where they won the Gold Medal in their age group.

Richard joined the Royal Corps of Signals at Catterick in 1984 and served as a soldier for 20 years until commissioned in 2004. He has been deployed to Central America, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Iraq, completing ten tours of duty.

He added: “Making time for football in the Army is always a challenge when we are so busy with operations and training. However, the commitment of the chain of command, the coaches and the players makes it happen and Army football, at every level, has never been in a better place.”