The start of a new year and already we are mourning the loss of another bona-fide football legend following the reported death of one of Man City’s most beloved of sons, Colin Bell. 

There is a lovely piece in The Guardian by City fan, Simon Hattenstone which I’d recommend – click here 

Unlike  a lot of the wholly merited tributes we read last year for Norman Hunter (Gateshead) and Jack Charlton (Ashington) both Leeds icons there seems little reference to Colin Bell’s roots in the Durham coalfield, the birthplace and breeding ground for so many legends of the game. Like them, Colin Bell is commemorated with a stand named after him at the Etihad. A fully merited honour and not bad for a lad from a humble pit community in Horden and a former player with Horden Colliery Welfare, where he will be particularly remembered. . 

But Bell was another who got away in a time disappearing from view and a world that is fading into memory. Another fine player lost to the North East’s clubs, like so many others. 

Not many supporters under 60 will have many memories of Colin Bell but he was a magnificent player and by all accounts, like so any produced by this region, a gentleman. 

Our kind condolences to his family and friends.