Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 1

Well, after 10 long days, we've finally made it! It's Christmas Eve and more importantly, we've reached the climax of our top 10 heroes. You all picked this man as the winner, and we at The Sky Blue View definitely agree with the choice. Today, you picked....

Colin Bell
It seems apt that Bell has been picked as our number one hero at this time of the year. You all know how the song goes, and Colin could definitely be described as "King of the Kippax". Born in 1946, Bell was possibly the greatest player to put on the Sky Blue shirt, although that could quite easily change in the next few years.

He moved to Manchester City from Bury in 1966, and played a big part in helping the club get promoted to the First Division in the same year. He signed under quite unusual circumstances though, as he was described by City's assistant manager at the time Malcolm Allison as a pretty awful player to put off other clubs.

Allison knew the Durham born striker's potential though, and succeeded in his attempt to bring Bell to Maine Road. Along with the likes of Francis Lee, Mike Summerbee and Neil Young, Bell helped City win only their second ever league Championship in 1968.

Bell holds the FA Cup aloft.
He also helped the club to win the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970, as well as producing top class performances to solidify his place in the England team.

Bell, who was described by one commentator as "the most finished article in the modern game", severely injured his right knee in a game against local rivals Manchester United at the age of 29. He was never able to recapture the form before the injury which helped City become so successful, and despite a return to action in 1977, he was forced into retirement in 1979.

Bell was an instrumental player in the club's most successful team, winning two League Cups, a League Title, an FA Cup, and a European Cup Winner's Cup. It shows how universally recognised he was, after being voted as England's 26th best ever footballer, as well as having the Main Stand at the Etihad Stadium named after him, which was quite an honour.

Bell was a unique player, who will probably never be eclipsed at City. Even if we are making great strides to replicate that side from 40 years ago, we will always remember the likes of Colin Bell for what he did for Manchester City. As you can hear in the terraces... "We'll drink a drink a drink to Colin the King". 

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