Football figures join family and friends in farewell to Colin Bell

The funeral of former Manchester City and England midfielder Colin Bell has taken place.

Bell, widely regarded as one of City’s greatest players, died at the age of 74 earlier this month.

A limited number of family and friends attended the service at St Peter’s Church in Hale, including several of Bell’s former team-mates.

Mike Summerbee, who featured alongside Bell in City’s great side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, read a eulogy.

Other footballing figures in attendance included Brian Kidd, Tony Book, Joe Corrigan, Peter Barnes, Dennis Tueart, Gary Owen, Alex Williams, Brian Horton, Tommy Booth and Dave Watson.

Prior to the service, the hearse circled the perimeter of the Etihad Stadium, stopping outside the entrance to the Colin Bell Stand, which has been newly-decorated with a giant graphic of Bell. It will remain in place until the end of the season.

Bell made 492 appearances and scored 152 goals in 13 years at City
Bell made 492 appearances and scored 152 goals in 13 years at City

The graphic is in addition to one that had already been installed over a large portion of seats at the stadium, where games continue to be played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tenor Russell Watson sang at the service.

Paying tribute in his address, Summerbee said: “Today was a very emotional day for everyone.

“Colin was obviously a terrifically gifted player whose career touched the lives of a great number of people through his football. But more than that he was a wonderful friend to me.

Today we said goodbye to the King 👑💙

🔷 #ManCity

— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 26, 2021

“It was incredibly touching and fitting that his final route was able to visit the stadium, and I am truly honoured that Marie, Jon, Dawn and the family allowed me to say a few words about a great man.”

Bell, nicknamed ‘King of the Kippax’, made 492 appearances and scored 152 goals in a 13-year spell at City after joining from Bury in 1966. He won a league title, the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup. He also earned 48 caps for England.