Former Manchester City and England midfielder Colin Bell has died at the age of 74.
The Premier League club (City) confirmed Bell died after a short, non-Covid related illness on Tuesday.
“It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of Manchester City legend Colin Bell. Colin passed away peacefully this afternoon after a short, non-Covid related illness,” City said in a statement.
The England legend leaves behind wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren, Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack.
Bell is widely regarded to be the finest Man City player of his generation, making 501 appearances and scoring 153 goals for the Club during a 13-year stay.
Club Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak led the tributes, saying: “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. 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 48 England caps to his name.
“Our Club has lost a true great. Everyone’s thoughts and best wishes are with Colin’s family.”
Known as Colin The King, in 2004 fans voted to name a stand inside the Etihad Stadium after him (Colin Bell) and his name is still sung regularly at matches.