MANCHESTER: Former England and Manchester City midfielder Colin Bell, widely regarded as one of the club’s finest players, has died aged 74 following a short illness, the Premier League side said on Tuesday. A classy but also tireless midfield player, Bell was part of City’s 1967-68 First Division title-winning team and scored 152 goals in 492 games for the Manchester club between 1966 and 1979. He also won the FA Cup, League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup at City during the club’s most successful period until their recent title successes. A huge favourite with City fans, Bell was nicknamed Nijinsky after the thoroughbred race horse in a tribute to his stamina. “He was such a great, great player and he was a phenomenal athlete alongside being a phenomenal footballer,” said former City goalkeeper Joe Corrigan. “He could have been an Olympic athlete had he put his mind to it.” Bell was capped 48 times by England and featured in the 1970 World Cup. He would have made more international appearances but suffered a serious knee injury in 1975, aged 29. A modest man, Bell kept a relatively low profile after his playing career ended. The West Stand at City’s Etihad Stadium is named after Bell, who later worked with the club’s youth teams and also served as a club ambassador.