By Timothy Cox
Beaver County Times
BEAVER FALLS, March 7, 2022 — For older generations in the city, the name Linwood Alford has been a constant for several years.
As a Google subject, his name quickly arises as the childhood friend of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Willie Namath.
Boating buddies Linwood Alford (Left) and Joe Namath. The Beaver Falls natives have known each other since childhood. Alford is best known outside Beaver County for his friendship with Namath, but county residents tout his service to his community.
Now, The Times provides Alford a chance to recite his own story – including his early years, in connection with the world-renowned professional athlete.
Service to the community
As a career, for many years, Alford has focused his energies in support of those who may have difficulties helping themselves. A self-described “union man” and proud Democrat, Alford initially worked in the construction industry before serving on boards while committing his life to the continuous improvement of Beaver Countians, in all phases, regardless of ethnicity, creed or culture.
Linwood Alford as member of board of directors for the Larry Bruno Foundation Pictured are, first row, l-r, Ron Main, Artie DeSisto; second row, Linwood Alford, Pete Pietrandrea, Ed DeRose, Bob Ricci; and third row, Jim Carbone, Judge Richard Mancini and Steve Higgins.
In recent years, Alford has served as vice president of Lincoln Park (Midland Innovation Technology) Charter School; vice president of Beaver County Democratic Board; director of Civil Rights Labor Council; Job Training Board and (I-DAC) aka Individual Diversity Awareness Council; and as an official with the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council.
He’s also a member of the Aliquippa Council of Men and Fathers.
In addition to Namath, Linwood has several local notables of which he considers close friends and associates including Senior Beaver County Judge Richard Mancini, Ambridge attorney Steve Kocherzat, area broadcast notable Chris Shovlin, Beaver Valley NAACP President Mtume Imani and another lifelong friend, Victor Freddie Mannerino.
“I’ve known him for many years – but respected him, even before I knew him,” Mancini said.
If it pleases the court
“I’ve always called Linwood a gem for our local community. Regardless of creed, color or religion – he’s just been a good person. Of course, many people know him as Joe Namath’s original friend, but there’s so much more to him than that. It goes back to his upbringing. Real Beaver Falls residents know,” added Mancini, 68, himself a Beaver Falls native.
In his spare time, Alford works as a tip staffer at the Beaver County Courthouse, under the auspices of Mancini. He describes his courtroom role as similar to a bailiff, adding that he often introduces the judge to courtroom attendees.
“He’s a natural in this position,” Mancini said. “Linwood is a people person and it takes someone with personality in order to be effective in this role.”
‘Sixth Street Brothers’
Linwood was born Jan. 5, 1944 – the youngest of eight siblings to Clifford and Mary Lee Coleman Alford.
Having recently turned 78, Alford admits he’s humbled and blessed to have maintained a sharp memory, enough to still recall significant past episodes of his life.
Having joined Tabernacle Baptist Church at age 13, Alford said he remains forever thankful that his parents provided him with a spiritual foundation that has kept him in safe, protective environments “especially during his 14-month” U.S. Army stint in Vietnam.Continue reading Beaver Falls Native Linwood Alford Has Always Been ‘Called to Serve’