Colin Bell, one of the best English midfielders of his generation and considered an all-time great at Manchester City, has died. He was 74.
Bell, whose name lives on in the “Colin Bell Stand” named after him at the Etihad Stadium, died after a short illness not linked to the coronavirus, City said Tuesday.
“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,” City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement. “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.”
Known as “The King of the Kippax” by fans and compared to a race horse by coach Malcolm Allison because of his extraordinary stamina, Bell was at the heart of City’s successful side of the late 1960s and 70s.
He made 492 appearances for the club over 13 seasons, scoring 152 goals, and also won 48 caps for England, netting nine times. Those statistics may have been greater had injury not curtailed his career.
Bell was born in Hesleden in northeast England on February 26, 1946. He was raised by his father and other family members after his other died when he was just a child.
He made his England debut in 1968 and was a member of the squad at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
He is survived by wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack.