Colin Bell: Former Manchester City and England midfielder dies aged 74

5 January 2021, 19:57 | Updated: 5 January 2021, 20:02

File photo: Manchester City legend Colin Bell has died aged 74
File photo: Manchester City legend Colin Bell has died aged 74. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Former Manchester City and England midfielder Colin Bell has died at the age of 74, the club have announced.

Bell made 492 appearances and scored 152 goals for City during his 13-year stay after joining from Bury in 1966.

A club statement read: "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."

Bell earned the nickname 'The King of the Kippax' after one of the terraces at their former Maine Road home, and has a stand named after him at the Etihad Stadium after a fans vote.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement on 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 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 fact that we have a stand at the Etihad Stadium named after Colin speaks volumes about the importance of his contribution to this club.

"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.

"For the rest of us, there is always the thought of what might have been if injury had not affected his career.

"Undoubtedly more trophies for City and far more than the 49 England caps to his name. Our Club has lost a true great. Everyone's thoughts and best wishes are with Colin's family."

Former City forward Paul Dickov wrote on Twitter: "Devastated to hear of passing of Colin Bell...One of the greatest if not THE greatest player to ever wear the City shirt & more than anything the nicest & most humble man you could ever meet. Thoughts, love & prayers to all the Bell family. RIP Legend."