Manchester FA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bernard Halford, a key member of the football community in Manchester, at the age of 77.
Born in Chadderton in 1941, Bernard’s dedication to the game in Manchester shone throughout his long and decorated career in football, spending over a decade at Oldham Athletic FC before joining Manchester City FC in 1972, where he affectionately became known as ‘Mr Manchester City’.
Joining as assistant to Secretary Frank Buckley at just 18 year’s old, Bernard spent 13 years at Oldham Athletic progressing to role of Secretary, before taking up the same role at his beloved Blues, where he was involved for over four decades. In his later years, Bernard received recognition in many forms from the across the football world. In 2011, when Manchester City beat Stoke 1-0 to win the FA Cup at Wembley, a 69-year-old Bernard led the team up the steps to receive the trophy – an act that exemplifies the respect shown to a man who dedicated his working life to the game. In 2016, Bernard became only the second Life President in the club’s 124-year history.
As a fan of the game at all levels and a passion for development within grassroots football, Bernard also served as Manchester FA’s Representative to the Football Association for 11 years from 2005 to 2016 and received an Honorary Life Membership from Manchester FA in 2016, along with recognition from the FA for his 50 years’ service to the game in 2010.
Colin Bridgford, Chief Executive at Manchester FA, expressed Manchester FA’s condolences to Bernard’s wife Karen and family: “Bernard was a dear friend to Manchester FA and he will be extremely missed across the football community. Bernard’s passion for the game at all levels was insatiable and his commitment to supporting and developing the grassroots game across Greater Manchester will be fondly remembered by so many. Football is about making memories and Bernard certainly did that for many.”
As a mark of respect, Manchester FA will hold a minute’s silence at this Friday’s Sunday Amateur County Cup Final at Abbey Hey FC.