“After the “king” of the club passed away, Manchester City players will pay tribute to former midfielder Colin Bell ahead of their Carabao Cup semi-final against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
After joining Bury in 1966 and helping win promotion to the First Division, Bell, a former England international, played 492 games and scored 152 goals for City during his 13-year career. As the club captured the First Division title against Manchester United in 1968, Bell was one of City’s standout stars. In 1969, the triumph of the FA Cup followed and two more titles in 1970 – the League Cup and the Winners’ Cup of the European Cup. “After one of the terraces on the former Maine Lane, Bell was dubbed “The King of the Kippax” and a stand at the Etihad Stadium was named after him after a vote by fans. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Manchester City (@mancity)The success of the FA Cup followed in 1969 and two more trophies in 1970 – the League Cup and the Winners’ Cup of the European Cup. After one of the terraces at Maine Road, Bell was dubbed “The King of the Kippax” and a stand at the Etihad Stadium was named after him after fans voted for him. Current players will wear a retro number 8 jersey on Wednesday night before kickoff at Old Trafford to honor the man many consider the best. So sad to learn of the passing of Colin Bell. I’ve heard all about the King! A real legend from Manchester City. This man was on a different stage, if only I had seen him play. When I met him, he was unbelievably kind and polite. Carla and I are sending our love to his friends and family. #CollinBell pic.twitter.com/MnET8ReJsC- Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) January 5, 2021 City President Khaldoon Al Mubarak said Bell was “a player held in the highest regard” and “the passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius.” Former City Captain Vincent Kompany won four times in the Premier League, twice in the FA Cup and four times in the League Cup as the power balance changed four times. “Nevertheless, the Belgian defender paid tribute to Bell’s role in the history of the club, saying, “I’ve heard all about The King! A real legend of Manchester City. If only I could have seen him play, this man was on another stage,” Kompany wrote on Twitter. When I met him, I was incredibly kind and humble. Carla and I give our love to his family and friends. “Mike Summerbee “I’m shocked to learn about the passing of Colin. He was more than just a teammate and an incredible soccer player, he was a wonderful guy and a true friend. (1/3) pic.twitter. com/II8YiO7W6k- Manchester City (@ManCity) January 5, 2021Winger Mike Summerbee played in City’s City alongside Bell. He was simply the greatest footballer we’ve ever had. “Kevin De Bruyne reminds me a lot of Colin, both in the way he plays and as a person. “Former England international Summerbee, who is now a club ambassador, added: “He was adored by City fans and when our fans say he’s the best they’ve ever seen, there’s no better compliment than that, is there? ” Colin Bell (front row, 3rd from left), Captain Tony Book (center), Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee (front row, 2nd from right) were all part of a striking City side (PA Archive). In addition to Bell and Summerbee, striker Francis Lee was part of the memorable “Holy Trinity” of City. Lee thought that Bell was “one of the five best City players of all time – only in the last 10, 15 years has someone come along who can take that rank” Tony Book, who captained the City side in the late 1960s and early 1970s, added: “He was a very special person, not just as a footballer but as a human being – I can’t believe he’s passed on. He is irreplaceable.” He was affectionately known as “King of the Kippax” and he is named after a stand at the City of Manchester Stadium. “RIP to one of the finest all-time midfielders in @England pic.twitter.com/2hHRnMdJfD- FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 5, 2021A FIFA tweet read, “Rarely has a player been loved by a player