Manchester City have confirmed that their legendary midfielder Colin Bell has sadly died aged 74.
In a statement, the club wrote: “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, aged 74. He leaves behind wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren, Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack.
“He is widely regarded to be the finest City player of his generation, making 492 appearances and scoring 152 goals for the Club during a 13-year stay.
“Few players have left such an indelible mark on City.
“Known as Colin The King, in 2004 fans voted to name a stand inside the Etihad Stadium after him and his name is still sung regularly at matches.”
City 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.
City icon Shaun Goater wrote: “You have my deepest condolences to the Bell family. There will only ever be one King Colin Bell. RIP.”
Ex-striker Paul Dickov said: “Devastated to hear of passing of Colin Bell…One of the greatest if not THE greatest player to ever wear the City shirt & more than anything the nicest & most humble man you could ever meet.
“Thoughts, love & prayers to all the Bell family. RIP Legend.”
Former Oasis and huge City fan Liam Gallagher added: “COLIN BELL RIP MCFC.”