Colin Bell was born in Haslingden, County Durham on February 26, 1946. A graceful athlete, he soon made his name for Bury in the 1963-64 season and attracted almost as many as supporters to Gigg Lane!
In his 48 appearances in two years he scored nine goals, but contributed to numerous goals by his teammates.
One of the most witty accounts of him being scouted was when the late great Malcolm Allison came to the ground and slated him for 90 minutes.
“He can't pass, he can't shoot! Look he can't even head the ball.” That was Allison's account that deterred his fellow coaches and scouts. Of course this was just to put them off because he soon swooped for the player.
As a Manchester City player he achieved great heights with his superb athleticism, vision and ability that saw him play at the highest level.
He went on to captain England for one game, a 1-0 loss to Northern Ireland before a crude tackle in a Manchester derby put paid to his career. He attempted a comeback down purely to his immense fitness but was never the same.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.