The former Dolly Blues defender passed away at the start of the week, aged 37, after suffering from motor neurone disease (MND).
Melling’s former clubs lined up to pay their respects and, speaking 24 hours afterwards, Fell was still coming to terms with the news.
The City boss said: “He’s one of my closest friends and has been since he played for me at Nelson.
“It’s been a really tough 24 hours. It’s tough to speak about, it’s still very raw, but I did speak to Nicci (Melling’s wife) yesterday.
“I spoke to Ashy (Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft) at the weekend and we knew something was likely to happen.
“Although you might know it’s inevitable, it doesn’t prepare you any better for it.
“It has to be the worst possible disease because it can take everything from you.
“The only saving grace is that he isn’t suffering anymore.”
Fell was the driving force behind last year’s fundraising bike ride, which saw a number of participants calling in at Melling’s former clubs.
Perhaps fittingly, City’s next home game is Easter Monday’s match with Bamber Bridge: another team for whom Melling featured during his career.
“I’ll make sure the club does the right thing by the family,” Fell added.
“There will be a collection at the Bamber Bridge game. We did the bike ride and I’m sure we’ll do something again in the summer.”