Colin Bell, whose name lives on in the “Colin Bell Stand” named after him at the Etihad Stadium, died after a short illness not linked to the coronavirus, City said.
He was 74 and one of the best English midfielders of his generation and considered an all-time great at Manchester City.
“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,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement.
“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.”
Bell was at the heart of City’s successful side of the late 1960s and 70s and known as “The King of the Kippax” by fans and compared to a racehorse by coach Malcolm Allison because of his extraordinary stamina.
He made 492 appearances for the club over 13 seasons, scoring 152 goals, and also won 48 caps for England, netting nine times. Those statistics may have been greater had injury not curtailed his career.