Manchester City legend Colin Bell has died aged 74 after a short illness, the Premier League club have announced.
The former England midfielder made 492 appearances for City between 1966 and 1979, scoring 152 goals. He won 48 caps for his country.
“Few players have left such an indelible mark on City,” said a club statement on Tuesday.
In 2004, Manchester City fans voted to name one of the stands at Etihad Stadium in Bell’s honour.
“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,” said City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“I am fortunate to be able to speak regularly to his former manager and team-mates, and it’s clear to me that Colin was a player held in the highest regard by all those who had the privilege of playing alongside him or seeing him play.
“The passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius.”
After starting his career at Bury, Bell moved to Manchester City – then in the second tier – midway through the 1965-66 season in a £47,500 deal.
He helped Joe Mercer’s team win promotion that season and was instrumental in the Blues winning the First Division title two years later.
During his 13 years as a player at Maine Road, he also won the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.
‘De Bruyne reminds me a lot of Colin’ – tributes pour in for the ‘King of the Kippax’
Former City team-mate Mike Summerbee, who was part of their ‘Holy Trinity’ alongside Bell and Francis Lee in the 1960s and 1970s, described Bell as “just the greatest footballer” the club has had.
“Colin was a lovely, humble man. He was a huge star for Manchester City but you would never have known it,” said ex-forward Summerbee.
“He was quiet, unassuming and I always believe he never knew how good he actually was.
“[Current City midfielder] Kevin de Bruyne reminds me a lot of Colin in the way he plays and the way he is as a person.”
Summerbee, 78, was among a number of former City players to pay tribute to Bell, along with celebrity fans including former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher.
More to follow.