Tributes pour in for Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion icon Ian Mellor who has died aged 74

Sheffield Wednesday v Queens Park Rangers where Ian Mellor shot over the bar in September1980Sheffield Wednesday v Queens Park Rangers where Ian Mellor shot over the bar in September1980
Sheffield Wednesday v Queens Park Rangers where Ian Mellor shot over the bar in September1980 | JPIMedia
A footballer who had a great career at Manchester City, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chester City, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City has died at the age of 74, family have confirmed.

Ian Mellor made 70 league appearances for the Owls across three years from 1979 until 19782. He was one of the key figures in Sheffield Wednesday’s famous ‘Boxing Day Massacre’ win over Sheffield United. Among his 11 Wednesday goals came an iconic strike in the 1979 clash against the Blades that supporters still sing about so proudly to this day.

Lovingly nicknamed ‘Spider’, Mellor also represented Manchester City, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chester City and Bradford City in a distinguished career as a flying left-winger. He briefly played in Hong Kong and for Worksop Town before heading into retirement.

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His son Neil, who also went on to earn hero status at S6 with a goal-laden single season on loan from Preston North End in the 2010/11 season, confirmed the sad news on social media.

“We are all absolutely devastated to have lost my Dad,” Mellor junior wrote. “Big thanks to St Ann’s Hospice and all their brilliant staff who helped during those last days as he battled so hard against amyloidosis.”

Wednesday supporters will remember Mellor fondly for his adventurous style of play in an iconic era for the club in which he worked alongside the likes of Jack Charlton and Terry Curran. He would still visit Wednesday games on a semi-regular basis up until his illness.

“It’s strange to me, considering it’s 40 plus years ago, but it remains such a strong feeling among Wednesday supporters,” Mellor told The Star in 2021 on the modern day singing of ‘Hark Now Here’, a popular terrace chant that references the Boxing Day Massacre. “It’s flattering but crazy! It had been such a long time since it had been a derby, it was Boxing Day with a full house and that sort of thing hadn’t happened for a long time. It was such a big day for Wednesdayites and it’s nice they’ve clung onto it. At that time there had been very few happy times since the 60s I suppose. The atmosphere was electric. It’s something that was quite special.”

Mellor started at Manchester City in 1970, made 41 appearances and scored 10 goals. He was playing for City when the club won the Charity Shield in 1972.