Colin Bell, probably the greatest English midfielders of his era and regarded an all-time great at Manchester City, has died. He was 74.
Bell, whose title lives on within the “Colin Bell Stand” named after him at the Etihad Stadium, died after a brief sickness not linked to the coronavirus, City mentioned 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 mentioned in an announcement. “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 followers and in comparison with a race horse by coach Malcolm Allison due to his extraordinary stamina, Bell was at the center of City’s profitable aspect of the late Nineteen Sixties and 70s.
He made 492 appearances for the membership over 13 seasons, scoring 152 targets, and likewise gained 48 caps for England, netting 9 instances. Those statistics could have been larger had damage not curtailed his profession.
“He was quiet, unassuming and I always believe he never knew how good he actually was,” former City teammate Mike Summerbee mentioned. “He was just the greatest footballer we have ever had.”
Bell was born in Hesleden in northeast England on Feb. 26, 1946. He was raised by his father and different members of the family after his mom died when he was only a little one.
After beginning his profession at Bury within the Manchester space, Bell attracted he curiosity of larger golf equipment within the course of and moved to City.
Bell offered the entire midfield bundle. He may deal with, was filled with operating, had tempo, a watch for a move and was a positive finisher.
Allison, who regarded him as “world class”, was the primary to dub him “Nijinsky” after the well-known race horse.
He scored on his debut and helped City safe promotion in 1966 and was one of many staff’s stand-out gamers as they edged out Manchester United to win the highest division title two years later.
FA Cup success adopted in 1969 and two extra trophies, the League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup, have been gained in 1970. He was the membership’s high scorer 3 times.
He made his England debut in 1968 and was a member of the squad at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. But he was used sparingly and gained an unwelcome place within the staff’s historical past as the person despatched on for Bobby Charlton within the quarterfinal defeat to West Germany.
He was earmarked as lengthy-time period substitute for Charlton within the England midfield however, after the frustration of failing to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, successfully had his profession ended by a knee damage at the age of 29.
Bell, who had been in his prime, was out of motion for 2 years after being harm in a deal with by Man United’s Martin Buchan in November 1975.
He by no means blamed Buchan for what he considered an accident, however his comeback was not profitable and he retired in August 1979.
He briefly tried to revive his profession with San Jose Earthquakes in 1980 nevertheless it lasted simply 5 video games. After football he held teaching roles with City’s youth and reserve groups and later grew to become a membership ambassador.
He was uncomfortable within the limelight and guarded his privateness, because the title of his 2005 autobiography, “Reluctant Hero,” urged.
That e-book could have saved his life. It was learn by football-loving surgeon, Jim Hill, who, noting how Bell’s mom had died of bowel most cancers, contacted him suggesting he be checked out. Bowel most cancers was additionally recognized and inside three weeks he was operated on.
He is survived by spouse Marie, kids Jon and Dawn and grandchildren Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports