Dean Bell

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For the English cricketer, see Dean Bell (cricketer).
Dean Bell
Dean Bell.JPG
Personal information
Full name Dean Cameron Bell
Nickname 'Deano', 'Mean Dean'
Born (1962-04-29) 29 April 1962 (age 53)
New Zealand
Playing information
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 90kg
Position Wing, Centre, Loose forward
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19?? Manukau
1982–83 Carlisle 23
1983–84 Leeds 22 5 0 0 20
1984–86 Easts (Sydney) 42 8 0 0 36
1986–94 Wigan 253 96 0 0 384
1995 Auckland Warriors 19 3 0 0 12
1996 Leeds Rhinos 1 0 0 0 0
Total 360 112 0 0 452
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19?? Auckland
1982 Cumbria 1 0 0 0 0
1983–?? New Zealand Māori 8
1983–89 New Zealand 26 15 0 0 60
1987 South Island 1 0 0 0 0
1988 Rest of the World 1 0 0 0 0
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1996–97 Leeds Rhinos 44 19 1 24 43
Source: Yesterday's Hero

Dean Bell is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer and coach. A New Zealand international representative centre, he played his club football in England, Australia and New Zealand, but most notably with Wigan, with whom he won seven consecutive Challenge Cup finals, a Lance Todd Trophy and a Man of Steel Award. He later coached English club Leeds for two seasons. He is a member of the famous Bell rugby league family that includes George, Ian, Cameron, Glenn, Cathy Bell and Clayton Friend.

Playing career[edit]

Bell began his career in 1979 playing for the Manukau Magpies in the Auckland Rugby League competition. In 2011 he was named Manukau's Player of the Century.[1]

Bell then moved to England in August 1982, playing for Carlisle and Leeds over the next two seasons.[2] At the end of the 1983/84 season he joined Eastern Suburbs in Australia, playing 42 games for them over the next three seasons. In 1987 Bell was a guest player for the South Island in a match against Auckland.[3] In 1986 he joined Wigan, where he was to experience his greatest success. While at Wigan, Bell became a Seven-time Challenge Cup winner (including three as captain), a Six-time Rugby Football League Championship winner, a One-time World Sevens winner, a Five-time John Player Trophy winner, a Two-time RFL Premiership winner and a Four-time Lancashire Cup winner. Dean Bell played Centre, i.e. number 4, in Wigan's 15-8 victory over Oldham in the 1986 Lancashire Cup final during the 1986–87 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 19 October 1986,[4] was an Interchange/Substitute in the 28-16 victory over Warrington in the 1987 Lancashire Cup final during the 1987–88 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 11 October 1987,[5] played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored a try in the 22-17 victory over Salford in the 1988 Lancashire Cup final during the 1988–89 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Sunday 23 October 1988,[6] and played Loose forward/Lock in the 5-4 victory over St. Helens in the 1992 Lancashire Cup final during the 1992–93 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Sunday 18 October 1992.[7] During the 1992–93 Rugby Football League season Bell played at centre for defending RFL champions Wigan in the 1992 World Club Challenge against the visiting Brisbane Broncos.

Bell also won the Man of Steel Award in 1992 and the Lance Todd Trophy in 1993. Bell was later inducted into the Wigan Warriors Hall of Fame.

In 1995 Bell left Wigan, returning home to join coach John Monie at the new Auckland Warriors club. Bell became the Club's first captain and led the team out in their inaugural match.

During his career he captained Wigan, the Auckland Warriors and the New Zealand national team.

Representative career[edit]

While playing in the Auckland Rugby League competition Bell made the Auckland side. In 1982, he played for Cumbria against Australia during the 1982 Kangaroo tour. A year later, he toured England with the New Zealand Māori team before making his debut for New Zealand that same year. In his debut match he played alongside his uncle Ian Bell and his cousin Clayton Friend.[8] He went on to play 26 tests for his country, retiring from international football early in 1989.

Bell picked up several honours while playing for his country, including being the NZRL Player of the Year in 1987 and winning the NZ Māori Sports Personality of the Year in 1994. He was later made a member of the NZRL's Immortals and inducted as one of the NZRL's Legends of League[9] in 2000. He is an Auckland Rugby League Immortal.[10]

Coaching and Management career[edit]

Bell returned to Leeds in 1996 as coach but ended up playing in one match as player-coach. He remained the first grade coach in 1997 before accepting a two-year job as the head of the Academy team.

During the 2000 World Cup he was the assistant Coach of the Aotearoa Māori side, working under his dad Cameron Bell.[11]

In 2000 he returned to Wigan to head the youth development programme for seven years before being appointed the New Zealand Warriors Development Manager in August 2007.

Bell became the manager for the Warriors Under-20's side in the Toyota Cup and at the end of the 2009 season Bell was promoted by the Warriors to be their new Recruitment and Development Manager.[12]

In 2008 Bell was made the New Zealand Kiwis football manager.[13]

In 2012 Bell was made the New Zealand Vodafone Warriors General Manager Of Football

Other achievements[edit]

Bell was also the feature of an episode of the show This is Your Life.


  1. ^ Superleague, Volume 6, Issue 4, Edition 28 2011.
  2. ^ Friend makes British debut, 25 August 2007
  3. ^ Coffey, John; Wood, Bernie (2009). Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4. 
  4. ^ "1986–1987 Lancashire Cup Final". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "1987–1988 Lancashire Cup Final". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "1988–1989 Lancashire Cup Final". 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "1992–1993 Lancashire Cup Final". 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Coffey, John; Wood, Bernie (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-86969-331-2. 
  9. ^ "New Zealand Rugby League Annual Report 2008" (PDF). NZRL. 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21. [dead link]
  10. ^ Stacey Jones, Auckland Rugby League Immortal, 21 September 2003
  11. ^ Coffey and Wood The Kiwis: 100 Years of International Rugby League ISBN 1-86971-090-8
  12. ^ Deane, Steve (25 September 2009). "NRL: Bell wins leading role at Warriors". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Dean Bell handed Kiwis role". 16 February 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 

External links[edit]