RIP Colin Bell, my original footballing hero. We all tried to style ourselves on his box-to-box style, perpetual motion and indomitable attitude as young kids.
I saw him destroy Sunderland several times at Roker in late 1960s and I was in awe. He came from Wingate, near Trimdon and was somehow knocked back by Sunderland before signing for Bury. Then Malcolm Allison spotted him and took him to Manchester City.
He was a fantastic player, incredibly athletic and so agile. He was also a smashing, modest guy who was underrated internationally, but loved by Man City fans and the whole of Co Durham, regardless of their persuasion.
He was instrumental in transforming Man City into League Champions in 1968. On final day of that season City won 4-3 at Newcastle and we won 2-1 at Old Trafford, just four days before Man United won The European Cup v Benfica at Wembley, which we thought made Sunderland the best team in Europe!
Fantastic player… RIP