Former Shrewsbury Town captain Geoff Fellows dies, aged 76

Shrewsbury Town are mourning the death of former club captain Geoff Fellows, aged 76.

Fellows, a 5ft 6in left-back, represented Shrewsbury between 1965 and 1974 making 322 appearances, including as captain for five years before his time at Gay Meadow came to an end.

Fellows had been battling Alzheimer's and dementia over the last couple of years and was submitted to hospital shortly before Christmas. He had shown signs of recovery but contracted Covid-19 and passed away peacefully in hospital on Sunday.

The defender was born in West Bromwich and came through the youth ranks at Villa, where he signed schoolboy forms, but found first-team football opportunities limited.

That took the all-action and hard-working full-back to Division Three Shrewsbury, where he was signed by Arthur Rowley in the summer of 1965.

Fellows, popular with the Town fans, became an instant regular and would go on to make 281 league appearances, scoring three times. He played a further 36 times in cup competitions, including in a run to a fifth round FA Cup tie at Chelsea in his debut campaign and holding Arsenal to a Gay Meadow draw a couple of years later.

Fellows had his own light haulage business after hanging up his boots but football remained his life.

He did scouting work for Everton and helped launch local club Bustleholme Boys, taking them from two sides to the 40 team-outfit they are today in his four decades of service.

The former Town hero is survived by wife Gillian, daughters Alison and Claire and son Ian, as well as seven grandchildren.

Alison said: "Football was his life and his passion.

"He was involved with Bustleholme for 40 years after retiring, his grandson still plays for them, we have had so many messages of condolence. They are having a football tournament in his memory when they can.

"I've read the old newspaper clippings and they said he was a great bargain from Aston Villa. He used to say that because he was only five foot six they all said he would never be able to play.

"He used to love going to the new ground for Sunday Lunches and seeing the plaque that was in his name. He was a real hero at the club.

"It's a very sad time for us."

Fellows' family believe that heading the ball throughout his playing career could have contributed towards his Alzheimer's and dementia.

Alongside campaigning such as the Jeff Astle Foundation, the family hope the former left-back's case can further highlight the possibility of brain injury later in the life of footballers.

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