Tuesday evening brought the saddest news to Manchester City as it was announced that one of their best-ever players, Colin Bell, had died aged 74.
Bell, an England international, made 501 appearances for the club between 1966 and 1979 and scored 153 goals.
One of the stands at the Etihad Stadium was named after him to cement his legend, one which saw him help City win the FA Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup, League Cup and the old First Division and Second Division titles during his time at the club.
The current City side will pay their own tribute as they walk out to play Man United in their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening:
Man City’s players will walk out wearing retro number eight shirts in honour of Colin Bell at Old Trafford tonight.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 6, 2021
Another City old boy, Micah Richards, also paid a glowing tribute.
“He will never be replaced,” Richards said on BBC Radio 5 Live, cited by BBC Sport.
“He is the king of Manchester City and always will be.
“Sometimes when someone is so great, you expect them to be a little bit arrogant but he was the complete opposite – one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met.
“Everything he did was class. We have lost a great player for Manchester City and a great man as well. It is heartbreaking.”
It’s clear that despite the sadness, Bell’s legend will live on amongst a new generation and he will rightly be remembered fondly.