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R. I. P. Colin Bell

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One for the more mature OVF reader, but Man City have announced the passing of former star Colin Bell. 

Bell was an energetic box to box player with an eye for a goal whose workrate was something to behold. 

His 48 England caps coincided with a relatively poor national team in the early 70's where he would be one of the better players on show. 

Signed from nearby Bury in the mid 60's, Colin was a mainstay in what was a classy City side which won the old first division title on '68. 

Yet another of my childhood favourites taken far too soon. 

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Can anyone remember the friendly the Vale played against Man City in the early 70's Bell was nicknamed  Nijinski  he moved effortlessly across the pitch a class player he stood out a mile as a top player

There was some bother at that game as well City brought thousands, the Railway Paddock was like the Alamo,!

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Yes, I was at that game too. 

My father had been taking me the Vale from the early 60's, but my mother never showed any real interest. Then, out of the blue, she said "if you can't beat them, join them" and she came that match with us. 

As you say Blackdog, there was loads of mither during the game. Trouble flared, fans ran and my mum got knocked to the ground. She never went again. The "good" old days eh? 

But on Bell, he just seemed to glide so effortlessly over what we're terrible pitches in those days. One part of the "Holy Trinity" which included Franny Lee and Mike Summerbee, he would be regarded as one of the finest players to grace Maine Rd and stadia up and down the country. 

Thanks for the memories. 

9 hours ago, blackdog said:

Can anyone remember the friendly the Vale played against Man City in the early 70's


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Can't recall that one but I have a vague memory of Barton scoring 3 against us once -or am I dreaming it?

Whenever we played City they always brought hordes of supporters, as you might expect, and there was very often a bit of fun, shall we say. They very often seemed to take over Lorne Street and the Directors' Box.

Going back to Bell, he was a wonderful footballer. Very energetic. Used to make all those surging runs. Scored some excellent goals. The ideal midfield player. A shame his career was affected by injury. I see where Summerbee compares him to De Bruyne as he too has that explosive ability to power forward and grab a goal.

Just to throw some fuel on the fire, I don't think City's Trinity were as good as Old Trafford's!

I'll get my coat.

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For me Colin Bell was a great player for Man City and one of their very best English players but for England not so great. Easy to understand why  he is so revered by Man City fans.

Bell was the archetypal midfield player, "Covered every blade of grass" but didn't really excel at anything particularly at international level. IMHO England's downfall and subsequent poor performances (Until Paul Gascoigne came along) can be traced back to the substitution of Bobby Charlton by Colin Bell in the 1970 WC QF vs West Germany.

The subsequent English obsession that a midfield player had to cover every blade of grass led to players like Tony Currie hardly getting a game and Ray Wilkins winning far more caps than Glen Hoddle during the 70/80's and only a talent like Gazza only made it into the 1990 WC squad at the last minute..

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