Manchester City legend and former England international Colin Bell has died aged 74 after a short illness.
The ex-midfielder made almost 500 appearances for City, scoring 152 goals, during a 13-year period in Manchester, and won 48 caps for his country.
Bell has a stand named after him at the Etihad Stadium, an honour voted for by fans, having helped guide the club to the First Division title, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
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City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “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.
“Our club has lost a true great. Everyone’s thoughts and best wishes are with Colin’s family.”
The FA says it’s “deeply saddened” by Bell’s passing, while FIFA's called him one of England’s “finest all-time midfielders”.
'The most under appreciated footballer'
Tributes have been paid by his former team-mates. Mike Summerbee described him as a “quiet, humble man”, adding that the club’s current midfielder Kevin De Bruyne reminded him of Bell for his demeanour on and off the pitch.
Another of his old colleagues, Rodney Marsh, wrote on Twitter that Bell was the “most under appreciated footballer who ever played” and the professional he always wanted to be, while Francis Lee said he is among the “top five City players of all time”.
Bell started his career at Bury, before moving to City in 1966. He made his England debut two years later, and was part of the 1970 World Cup squad.
He never completely recovered from a tackle by Manchester United's Martin Buchan in 1975 - when he was 29 - and he retired four years later before making a brief comeback with San Jose Earthquakes.
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