Who is Mark Bellingham, new Real Madrid signing Jude’s father and agent?
A renowned goalscorer in English non-league football, Mark Bellingham acts as the now Real Madrid and England midfielder’s representative.
He’s the figure who inspired Jude Bellingham to become a footballer, and who now watches over the development of the England star’s career, which has now taken him to Spain and Real Madrid. We’re talking about the midfielder’s father, Mark Bellingham - himself a former player. Indeed, he is a legend of the English non-league game.
A prolific non-league goalscorer
“I used to watch him play all the time; it’s where I started to get that love for football,” Jude told an interview with the Guardian in 2020. “I think you can see in the way I play that I’ve watched the game from a young age. That non-league style of toughness and being gritty when you need to be is reflected in my game, and I do think that comes from watching my dad play - even though he never tackled!”
Mark, 46, earned a reputation as a voracious goalscorer in the lower leagues. His career began in 1994, nine years before Jude’s birth. His day job - he’s a police sergeant - hindered his progression as a player and he never made it beyond non-league level, but his haul of over 700 career goals make him one of the highest scorers in the history of non-professional football in England. In one season, 2005/06, he racked up 61 goals in the ninth division.
Bellingham Sr played for over a dozen teams, chiefly in the West Midlands region. He brought up his 700th goal in the 2016/17 campaign, while turning out for Paget Rangers in Midland League Division Two, the 11th tier of the English league pyramid. He had set himself the target of reaching the landmark figure the season before - but, when he fell two goals short, the by-now forty-something striker decided to extend his career by another year.
Younger son, Jobe Bellingham, also a Birmingham academy graduate
Mark’s passion for the game rubbed off not only on Jude, but also his other son, 17-year-old Jobe, who has followed in his older brother’s footsteps by emerging from the youth ranks at Birmingham City. Jobe made his senior debut for the Blues in January 2022. As Jude’s agent, Mark Bellingham has played a crucial role as the 19-year-old finally completed his move to Real Madrid.