Where are they now?: Colin Bell

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The Independent Online
IN 1969, the Manchester City side built around the magical triumvirate of Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee beat Leicester at Wembley to win the FA Cup a year after winning the championship. A quarter of a century later, such glories still bypass Maine Road.

While Lee and Summerbee are occupied with business careers, the team-mate that Malcolm Allison dubbed 'Nijinsky' is back with City, two days a week, as a youth coach.

'I'm at the School of Excellence for a couple of hours on Thursdays and I take the A team on Saturday mornings,' Bell said.

He has watched Lee's takeover attempt with understandable interest. 'I see Francis from time to time at charity dinners and golf, but he will have his own ideas.'

Bell, 48 next month, retired in 1981 after a career which brought him 142 goals in 475 League games and 48 England caps. Until he sold it four years ago, Bell ran a restaurant in Whitefield, north of Manchester, that he had set up in 1969 with Colin Waldron, a team-mate at Bury. Married for 22 years, Bell has an 18-year-old daughter at Oxford University and a 15-year-old son at the rugby-playing Stockport Grammar School. 'He's already nearly 6ft 5in. They like him in the line-out.'

Bell has witnessed City's recent troubles at first hand. 'My son twists my arm to take him to home games after I've finished coaching, so I've seen quite a few lately. It has been a painful time for everyone connected with the club.'

(Photograph omitted)

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