Colin Bell, a favorite of Manchester City and England, passed away at the age of 74.
The club reported the sad news this evening, with tributes from their employees.
“Colin passed away peacefully this afternoon after a short, non-Covid related illness, aged 74. He leaves behind wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren, Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack,” their statement read.
The tributes were led by Club Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, saying: “Colin Bell will always be remembered as one of Manchester City’s greatest players and the very sad news of his passing today will impact everyone linked to our club.”
I am lucky to be able to talk to his former manager and teammates on a regular basis, and it is evident to me that Colin was a player held in the highest esteem by all those who were privileged to play or see him play alongside him.
“The passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius. The fact that we have a stand at the Etihad Stadium named after Colin speaks volumes about the importance of his contribution to this club.”
After having played almost 400 times for the club in all competitions, the former midfielder is ranked among the greatest City players ever.
In 1963, Bell began his career at Bury, spending three years at the club before winning a move to Man City.
It was there that he made his name, including 394 times during a 13-year period for the club.
In City’s history, only three players ever have scored more so than Bell, who scored 152 in all competitions.
Before retirement, he also played five games for the San Jose Earthquakes in 1980.
“Bell said, speaking last year, “I’m biased, but you don’t get a better group of supporters than we’ve got at City. Whatever you give the supporters of the City, they will give you twice as much money back.
“I am very grateful that I have both played in front of the best fans anywhere.
You couldn’t have more positive and sincere supporters and in the feeling, you get from the fans, that comes across.
The argument is that our followers deserve so much.
“They’re so fair, so honest, and it was a privilege for me to play in front of them.”
Bell played 48 times for England, scoring nine goals – and is fondly remembered as one of the finest midfielders in the world.
Bell replaced Bobby Charlton during the 1970 World Cup, with England leading West Germany 2-1.
With some analysts marking Bell’s inclusion as the negative turning point, The Three Lions ended up losing the game 3-2.
Geoff Hurst, however, has clarified that it is clearly unreasonable to say that the inclusion of Colin Bell undermined the squad.