Stenny 056When Cameron Belford arrived at Stair Park on loan from Wrexham back in January, little was known - at least to Scottish football fans - about the larger than life goalkeeper.

Experienced shot-stopper David McGurn had been injured a few weeks earlier, and Belford was identified by Brian Reid as a suitable replacement. The keeper had impressed when Reid was manager at Belford's hometown club, Nuneaton Town.

Cammy made his debut at Cowdenbeath on 23 January 2016, and impressed the travelling fans with his distribution, communication and leadership.

Ever the showman, he demonstrates great ball control, and has the odd trick up his sleeve too.

Crucially however, Belford has brought success. He would go on to keep 9 clean sheets in his first 16 games - helping the Blues to reach the playoffs.

But who is Cameron Belford, and how did he get here?

Belford was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire on 16 October 1988.Cameron Belford

He hails from a strong goalkeeping family - his father Dale and brother Ty are both keepers, which stood him in good stead for a career in nets.

Starting out as a youth at Coventry City, he had a brief loan spell as a fresh-faced teenager at English Conference National side Tamworth during the 2006/07 season. He only made 1 appearance there, and after returning to the Ricoh Arena to finish the season, he was released from his contract.

Cammy was keen to get back playing again, and joined English League Two side Bury on a one year deal. Again, first team opportunities were hard to come by, and a loan spell at Worcester City provided the valuable experience he needed.

Recalled to Bury at the end of 2007/08, he made his first team debut as a late substitute on 3 May 2008. He continued to work hard on his game, making several fine performances towards the end of the 2009/10 season.

By the time the 2010/11 season rolled around, Belford was the first choice keeper at Gigg Lane.

His season was put in jeopardy on 23 October 2010. During a league game against Southend he collided with an onrushing striker, suffering a severe facial injury which required a titanium plate to be inserted in his cheek.

The following April, with promotion on the line, Bury faced Chesterfield - a dramatic game which was marred somewhat by a pitch invasion from the Chesterfield support after their equalising second goal.

During the celebrations, Belford was cornered by a group of youths, verbally abused, and punched in the face - right on his problem cheekbone.

He immediately gained suitable revenge by playing a crucial role in Bury's 3-2 win to help them gain promotion to League One.

Cameron's dad Dale said at the time: "It was crazy and a shame because it was a great day.

"But I am really proud of the way Cameron handled the situation. He dealt with it in a professional manner, kept his cool and got on with the match, which ended in a 3-2 win for Bury.
article 1380596 0BC4CE7800000578 855 634x495"There were almost 10,000 fans in the ground and a fantastic atmosphere. Cameron went on to make an important save towards the end to make sure of the result and set up a night of celebrations."

Bury struggled to compete with the other League One sides in 2011/12, and Belford found himself down the pecking order - opting instead to go out on loan to League Two side Southend United.

It turned out to be shrewd move for both parties, as the goalie shored up the Shrimpers' defence and helped them reach the League Two playoffs, unfortunately missing out on promotion.

Southend warmly welcomed him back on a short-term loan the following term, but after only 3 appearances, they brought in new signing Paul Smith as the new first choice keeper.

Cammy returned to Bury at the end of his loan period, only for Southend to come calling one week later, after Smith ironically got injured. Belford understandably declined the chance to return for a third loan spell, instead joining Accrington Stanley.

Cameron BelfordFor 2013/14, Belford finally left Bury after a successful six year spell.

His new start would be under his father Dale Belford at Conference side Tamworth, but it didn't go according to plan. Despite some heroic performances amongst his 40 appearances, he couldn't save the Staffordshire club from relegation.

2014/15 was a season of upheaval, as brief spells at Mansfield and Swindon Town sandwiched his 25 appearances for Rushall Olympic.

In what must surely be a world first, he came on to replace goalkeeper brother Ty for Swindon against Leyton Orient, after his younger sibling was sent off.

For 2015/16, he joined Wrexham, and started the season strongly. Despite this, he lost his place to loanee Rhys Taylor.

Cammy said: ""After starting the season well and then being taken out of the team with the team in good form, in a decent league position and looking to have a positive season, I feel as if the results never altered and the season ended disappointingly."

It just so happened that at the same time, Stranraer manager Brian Reid was looking for a goalkeeper. Reid considered a number of keepers who stood out during his time in England - but the one who ticked all the boxes was Belford.

That day at Cowdenbeath, Cammy was imperious and commanding in the Stranraer goal.

He followed that up with clean sheets against Brechin and Albion Rovers.

Organising the back four and producing countless top-drawer saves, Belford was exactly what the Blues were looking for in a goalkeeper.

He also brought with him a larger than life personality - exemplified by his off the ball antics at Glebe Park (VIDEO).

The playoffs would end in a dramatic penalty defeat, but Cammy cheered up the Blues faithful by hinting his future may lie at Stranraer:

Belford tweet
Sure enough, on 3 June 2016, the deal was confirmed.

A leaner, meaner Belford has since had a stellar 2017, starring against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup, and hitting a purple patch of form as the Blues went unbeaten under new manager Stevie Farrell.

Having established himself as a firm favourite at Stranraer FC, his next task is keeping us in the division.

One thing's for sure, Cammy will go down as one of the most entertaining goalkeepers in club history - and a very good one at that.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 25 59
2 Raith Rovers 25 43
3 Forfar Athletic 26 43
4 East Fife 23 38
5 Montrose 26 35
6 Airdrieonians 26 31
7 Dumbarton 25 27
8 Stranraer 24 27
9 Brechin City 24 25
10 Stenhousemuir 24 22


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Joao Victoria (STR)
10 - Ali McCann (MID)

11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)