Colin Bell: Funeral for Manchester City great 'incredibly touching'

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image copyrightMCFC
image captionThe hearse carrying Bell was driven around the Etihad on its way to his funeral

The funeral of Manchester City and England footballer Colin Bell has taken place in the city.

The midfielder, nicknamed "The King of the Kippax" in reference to the club's former ground, died earlier in January.

To mark his service to the club, his cortege circled City's Etihad stadium on its way to Hale's St Peter's Church.

Mike Summerbee, who played alongside him, said it had been "incredibly touching" to see it pass the stand which bears his name.

The former winger, who played alongside Bell in the Cityside which won four trophies in three seasons between 1968 and 1970, was joined by a number of other ex-City players at the service, including the club's assistant coach Brian Kidd, former captain Tony Book and fellow England internationals Joe Corrigan, Dennis Tueart and Dave Watson.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionColin Bell won 48 caps for England and appeared at the 1970 World Cup

Paying tribute to Bell in his eulogy, Summerbee said it 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," he said.

"But more than that he was a wonderful friend to me.

"It was incredibly touching and fitting that his final route was able to visit the stadium."

image copyrightPA Media
image captionTributes to Bell were left at Manchester City’s stadium ahead of his funeral

Club staff lined the route of the hearse as it carried Bell around the Etihad and flags above the ground were flown at half-mast.

The former England midfielder made 501 appearances for City between 1966 and 1979, scoring 153 goals and helping the club win the league, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup.

He also won 48 caps for his country and played at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

In 2004, Manchester City fans voted to name one of the stands at the club's new stadium in Bell's honour.

image copyrightMCFC
image captionFamily, friends and former teammates were all in attendance at the funeral

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