MICAH RICHARDS: Colin Bell was a true gentleman in every sense

MICAH RICHARDS: Colin Bell was a true gentleman… he was the happiest man in the Etihad when Man City won the title on the final day in 2012

  • Manchester City icon Colin Bell passed away at 74 after battling a long illness 
  • All players coming through the system are told  about Bell and his legacy 
  • Bell was a gentleman in every sense and was always one of life’s nice guys
  • It is a dark day for City but Bell, with a stand bearing his name, will remain king 

I never saw Colin Bell kick a ball but from the moment I arrived at Manchester City as a young lad, I knew all about him.

We were told stories about his incredible athletic ability, the goals he provided from midfield and the grace with which he played. It was never up for debate: he was the best ever to have played for the club.

With that in mind, I was overcome with nerves the first time I met him. When you are a kid and meet a man with such a huge reputation, it can be daunting but, from the moment he said ‘hello’, Colin showed himself to be one of life’s nice guys — a true gentleman in every sense.

All Manchester City players coming through the system are told of the legend of Colin Bell

Bell passed away on Tuesday at the age of 74 following a battle with a long-term illness

He used to spend time with us in the players’ lounge at the Etihad Stadium. Mike Summerbee, his old friend and team-mate, would always have a story and a laugh and joke; Colin was more reserved but he carried this aura and was always so warm and friendly.

Colin led the way in the 1960s and was instrumental in City’s final-day First Division title triumph at Newcastle in 1968. 

When we won the Premier League on the last day in 2012, there was nobody happier than Colin about what we achieved. That was him — pure class.

Bell was thrilled to see City finally win the Premier League title on the season finale in 2012

As a youngster coming through Micah Richards was initially nervous to meet Bell in person

His passing represents a dark day in City’s history. We have been blessed to see some of the players who have been in Manchester over the past 10 years but Colin set the standards to which they had to aspire. 

There are legends — then there are legends who have stands named after them.

For that reason, Colin Bell will always be The King.

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