Manchester City honour Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee with statues

Work has been commissioned to represent the trio, stars of the successful side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, at the Etihad Stadium

Colin Bell is to be honoured with a statue by Manchester City
Colin Bell is to be honoured with a statue by Manchester City

Manchester City are to honour three more of their greatest players in Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee with statues.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has announced that work has been commissioned to represent the trio, stars of the successful side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, at the Etihad Stadium.

It comes after the club recently unveiled a sculpture of record goalscorer Sergio Aguero alongside those of fellow Premier League winners David Silva and Vincent Kompany already in place.

Francis Lee also shone during a golden era for City in the late 1960s and early 1970s (PA Archive)

Khaldoon told the club’s website: “Over the last couple of years we’ve had the statues of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero, and these three represented the most successful era in the history of this club.

“But there are other very successful eras and I think remembering Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee is very important.

“This club has a great history. These are players that have contributed immensely to this club, and have earned the right to be appreciated forever, eternally, with statues.

Mike Summerbee’s part in City’s history will also be recognised (PA Archive)

“I won’t say too much right now until it’s done but what I will say is, these three legends will be properly respected and represented with a work of art that all the fans of this club will be able to see.”

Bell, Summerbee and Lee were at the heart of the City side that won the old First Division in 1968, the FA Cup the following year and a double of European Cup Winners’ Cup and League Cup in 1970.

Bell, who died last year after a short illness, has already had a stand at the ground named after him.

Khaldoon, speaking in his now customary end-of-season interview, also believes City have emerged strongly from the coronavirus pandemic.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes the club have emerged strongly from the pandemic (Tim Goode/PA)

The club announced a return to profitability and a 19 per cent increase in total revenues earlier this year.

Khaldoon said: “We’ve done very well. Covid was an anomaly, a very challenging black swan event that put an incredible challenge on the whole world.

“It was very difficult but, from day one, my direction to the team and to the organisation was we have to work towards ensuring that we weather through the storm and that we come out stronger.

“And I’m delighted to say that we’ve weathered through it and we have come out stronger.

“I expect us to continue to grow and go from strength to strength and the pandemic is hopefully now behind us.”

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