‘Very sad’: Football legend dead at 74

Former Manchester City and England midfielder Colin Bell has died aged 74 following a short illness, the club announced Tuesday.

Bell scored 152 goals in 492 appearances for City during a 13-year career with the club after joining from Bury.

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“Colin passed away peacefully this (Tuesday) afternoon after a short, non-COVID related illness, aged 74,” said a club statement.

“He leaves behind wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren, Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack.”

Manchester City’s Colin Bell.Source:Getty Images

Bell was a member of the City side that won the old First Division title in 1967/68 and the FA Cup in 1969.

He also helped City win two trophies in the 1969/70 season — the English League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

In addition to his City honours, Bell won 48 England caps and was in the squad for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico during a career cut short by a knee injury.

City said “few players have left such an indelible mark” on the club as Bell, nicknamed “The King of the Kippax” after one of the terraces at their former Maine Road home.

Such was the respect in which Bell was held at the club that City fans voted to name a stand at the Etihad Stadium after him in 2004.

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Colin today. Colin had outstanding all round ability – incredible fitness, flair & eye for goal! A great team mate & a true @ManCity legend. The Colin Bell stand will forever remind us of his immense contribution on & off the field.

So very sad to hear Colin Bell’s passing. Heard all about The King! A true Manchester City legend. This man was on another level, if only I could have seen him play. Incredibly kind and humble when I met him. Carla and I send our love to his family and friends. #CollinBell pic.twitter.com/MnET8ReJsC

Humble. True great. Held in the highest regard. Genius. The words of Man City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak about legend Colin Bell who has died at 74. Possibly the most generous and heartfelt tribute from chairman to a player I've ever read. 492 appearances 152 goals. RIP.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told the club’s website: “Colin Bell will always be remembered as one of Manchester City’s greatest players and the very sad news today of his passing will affect everybody connected to our club.

“I am fortunate to be able to speak regularly to his former manager and teammates, and it’s clear to me that Colin was a player held in the highest regard by all those who had the privilege of playing alongside him or seeing him play.

“The passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius.” Meanwhile, his former City teammate Mike Summerbee paid tribute to “a lovely, humble man”.

“He was quiet, unassuming and I always believe he never knew how good he actually was,” Summerbee told the club’s website.

“He was just the greatest footballer we have ever had.

“Kevin De Bruyne reminds me a lot of Colin in the way he plays and the way he is as a person.”

Former England international Summerbee added: “He was adored by the City fans and for our supporters to say he is the best they have ever seen, you don’t get a better compliment than that, do you?”


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