Aberbargoed, Glamorganshire left back Ben Ellis began his football career with Bargoed Town and Tredegar before a spell in Irish League football with Bangor, from there being signed by Motherwell’s legendary manager “Sailor” Hunter for £400 in early 1931. Such was his progress that he was soon selected for Wales and he made his international debut in a 3-1 defeat to England at Anfield in November 1931 and he won a total of 6 caps through till 1936, playing twice in their 1933 and once in their 1934 British Championship victories. He also toured the United States & Canada with The Scottish Football Association in 1939, and played once for The Scottish League in a 3-2 victory over The Irish League at Windsor Park, Belfast at the end of August 1939, immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Described as “one of the steadiest and most consistent backs in the Scottish League”, and “the most daring back in the country, Ben’s quick tackling methods and first time clearances upset the smoothest of attacks”, he was rated as one of the finest full backs ever to ply his trade in Scotland and according to those fortunate enough to see him play, he could head a ball further than most modern full backs can kick it.
He made 279 appearances for Motherwell scoring 13 goals up till the outbreak of the Second World War. An injury sustained in 1943 while he was working at a local engineering concern finished his career on the park. Ellis however found it hard to leave Fir Park and took on the role of groundsman, before becoming assistant trainer in 1947 and then coach in 1949. After 25 years connection with the club, he finally left in May 1955.
Just around the corner from Fir Park is a street off Toll Street named after the legendary Ben Ellis. ‘Ellis Way’ was opened by his daughter in 1990. A nice tribute for this Motherwell legend.