Goodbye to Colin Bell and the Doc, plus the past of Never Walk Alone You


1) Colin Bell, who died at the age of 74 this week, was almost definitely the 20th century’s best Manchester City player. The hundredth. He danced around the heavy pitches of the 1960s and 1970s, quick of foot and incredibly skilful. In the 1972 Manchester Derby, he scored a hat trick here.

Bell won every City domestic title, including the FA Cup in 1969, and also played for England 48 times, scoring nine goals. After a tackle by United’s Martin Buchan, his career was suddenly cut short by a knee injury suffered in the November 1975 derby.

Bell returned two years later, but was never the same player during extensive rehab. Nijinsky, not after the Russian ballet dancer, but after the last racehorse to win the English Triple Crown, was his nickname. Legends Of a Legend With words from Joe Mercer, Malcolm Allison, Francis Lee, Mike Summerbee and Geoff Hurst, a tribute to Colin Bell. #ManCity | Manchester City January 6th, 2021 Manchester City (@ManCity)
2) Tommy Docherty, the manager of 13 clubs, passed away on New Year’s Eve at the age of 92, but he is best known for taking the 1960s fledgling Chelsea team through and playing a similar role at Manchester United in the 1970s.

He was an excellent right-back at Preston before that and featured in the 1954 FA Cup final, losing to West Brom 3-2. As a manager, his high point was winning the FA Cup with United in 1977, denying Liverpool the treble.

This was followed by the low point where he lost his position at United almost instantly for not being on the pitch. In the television career that preceded his managerial career, the Doc was a wonderful raconteur, and an after-dinner speaker in his 90s.3) Singer Gerry Marsden was part of the Merseybeat movement of the 1960s that introduced the Beatles to the world, but he will be remembered most for the song that still rocks the Kop.

A lament for the male lead, Billy Bigelow, who falls on his knife and dies after a failed robbery, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (1945) gave the world You’ll Never Walk Alone.

But it was Marsden, who died at the age of 78 on January 3, and his Pacemakers, who made the Liverpool FC anthem album, which in 1963 reached its third number one in Britain.

Up until the 1970s, Marsden’s version was sung by fans of other clubs and still resounds today at Celtic Park. Here, in 2003, before a Uefa Cup match between Liverpool and Celtic, Marsden sings. The song has been covered many times, perhaps most curiously by Dexy’s Midnight Runners singer Kevin Rowland in 1999.4) Vishy Anand is asked about moves by the amazing Magnus Carlsen, the Mozart of chess. How many does he recall, if any? 5) 16-year-old Navajo boxer Mariah Bahe is bidding to become the first Native American Olympic boxer. And here’s Vishy playing 47 moves with only one second left on the clock.

Her ambition is to host the Paris 2024 Olympics.6) And finally, the soccer corner. First, the stuttering penalty kick in its purest form is seen to Paul Pogba then Bruno Fernandes, and a bit of hardball in a German indoor league. The risks behind closed doors… Our favourites last week from below the line1) Sam Holloway of Cam FM reads the results of festive soccer.2) As the WTA Tour returns, see two rising stars who met Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek in the 2020 French Open final.3) Disc golf brilliance.4) Fancy 25 rare snooker flukes? You’re in luck. Spotters badges: kensson, vsbain67, potarto, whobroughtoranges. Football channel Guardian YouTubeDo subscribe, if you fancy. Sport channel Guardian YouTubeDo subscribe, if you fancy.


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