Dudley Bell was a mature 26 when named best junior in his first league season with Glenelg in 1938. Playing at full back or centre half-back against the likes of Ken Farmer, BruceSchultz, ‘Bo’ Morton and Max Murdy, he had a safe pair of hands and showed plenty of football sense in his 31 senior games at the Bay.
Dudley’s football career quickly flickered out after his move to Norwood in 1940. He was at full back in the disastrous match in which Norwood’s 100-goal full forward Bruce Schultz suffered his career-ending injury in the second quarter. At the other end, South Adelaide spearhead Bill Isaac kicked six goals as his team powered to a 22.18 to 10.22 victory at the Parade..
Dudley was 19th man at the Bay four weeks later when Norwood recovered to grab an 11-point win, 19.16 to 18.11, despite a 10-goal bag by Glenelg rover-forward Frank Burt. After just two league games and three in the seconds, Dudley was finished with football and preparing for his next challenge, the defence of his country.
A shop assistant, Dudley enlisted in the RAAF as a leading aircraftman at Gumeracha on 28 April 1942. He was a member of 99 Squadron when discharged on 7 March 1946. His name is on a memorial roll of honour at Gumeracha.
Dudley was born at the Adelaide Hills town of Blumberg (now Birdwood) on 21 August 1911.
His father, Robert, and mother Elsie, nee Tucker, had one other child, Colin.
Dudley married Nellie Green at Gumeracha in 1934 and they had three children, Donald , Lynette, and Leith. Dudley died at Strathalbyn on 8 January 1995 and is buried there.
P Robins, D Cox, G Adams May 2021