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Man City Football Legend Colin Bell Dies at 74, Fans Worldwide Pay Tributes

English Footballer Colin Bell, widely considered as one of the greatest players of his generation, has died aged 74 after a short illness, the Manchester City football club announced Tuesday.

The club specified that the illness of its former star was not related to COVID-19.

Bell played midfield at City and was known as The King of the Kippax, a nickname which derives from one of the stands at the club’s former Maine Road stadium. During his 13 years with the club, he made 501 appearances on the field and scored a total of 153 goals.

“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", Club 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."

Al Mubarak went on to recall what a modest character Bell was, although he had "obvious inner strength". He expressed his view that if Bell had not sustained an injury that led him to abandon football, his career at the club and on the English team might have been even better.

"Our Club has lost a true great. Everyone’s thoughts and best wishes are with Colin’s family," he added.

According to the club statement, the players are set to wear a retro No 8 shirt at Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final at Manchester United in Bell's honor. And the club released a tribute video to its legend on Twitter.

Tributes are being paid to the English football legend across the world, as former teammates, fellow football clubs and players, the English national team and fans all express their condolences on social media.

Bell was one of the key players during City's most successful period when from 1968-70 the club claimed a clean sweep of domestic honors of the championship, FA Cup and League Cup, and won the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

His nickname "Nijinsky" was given to him because his fitness and stamina resembled that of the champion racehorse of the same name.

Bell also took part in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

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