Manchester City’s legendary midfielder Colin Bell passed away last night.
Tributes from right around the footballing world poured in as the Etihad confirmed the midfielder had died peacefully on Monday afternoon following a short, non-Covid related illness.
He was 74.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever pull on a blue shirt, Bell was a phenomenal athlete and talismanic footballer.
He began his career at Bury in the sixties before switching to East Manchester, where he became a fan favourite known as ‘King of Kippax’ (after the Kippax Street terrace at Maine Road) before having a stand named after him at the Etihad.
Bell made 492 appearances for City between 1966 and 1979 – scoring 152 goals and winning seven trophies.
He also represented England – earning 48 caps for his country.
In a statement, Bell’s former club said that: “Few players have left such an indelible mark on City.”
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said City had “lost a true great”, and that Bell’s “passing will affect everybody connected to our club.”
He stated: “I am fortunate to be able to speak regularly to his former manager and team-mates, 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.”
The Chairman added: “Colin was incredibly humble and a modest and understated man with an obvious inner strength of character.
“He was clearly comfortable with who he was and what he had achieved in the game.”
An online condolence book has been published on the City website.
Fans can sign it here.