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Colin Bell - Reluctant Hero: The Autobiography of a Manchester City and England Legend [Paperback]

Ian Cheeseman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Oct 2006

Most Manchester City supporters regard Colin Bell as their club's best ever player. He graced the midfield during their greatest years as they won all domestic and European honours, and represented England 48 times before a serious knee injury ended his career prematurely when he was just 29.

Now, in this revealing autobiography, 'King Colin' has opened up. He talks about never knowing his mother, who died when he was a baby, and of being brought up by his aunt and then his father and older sister. He then leads us through the glory years, singles out his greatest opponents and compares the modern game with the era he dominated, before sharing his views on the infamous tackle in a Manchester derby that ended his footballing dreams. In a remarkable development, he reveals for the first time his private battle against cancer and explains how this book has helped to save his life.

With tributes from the likes of Malcolm Allison, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton, Colin Bell - Reluctant Hero is the story of a footballer whose brilliance on the field demanded adulation but who was never comfortable in the spotlight. A player who truly preferred to let his feet do the talking.

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Colin Bell - Reluctant Hero: The Autobiography of a Manchester City and England Legend + Trautmann's Journey: From Hitler Youth to FA Cup Legend + I'm Not Really Here
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New Ed edition (5 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845960874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845960872
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Written in much the same way Bell played the game - effectively but with great humility" (The Times)

"A likeable trawl through the life of the great Manchester City midfielder" (Daily Telegraph)

"Because he hasn't hawked his ancestors around the after-dinner circuit for three decades, the book contains many fresh tales" (FourFourTwo)

"'Candid and entertaining'" (Programme Monthly)

From the Publisher

If Manchester City legend Colin Bell were playing today, he'd be one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world and would command the wages of, and comparison to, the likes of Zidane, Ronaldinho or Ballack. Most Manchester City fans regard Bell as the club's best ever player. He graced the midfield during their greatest years, as they won the League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup-Winners' Cup. The man they nicknamed 'Nijinsky', due to his supreme athleticism, captained Bury at the age of 17 and represented England 48 times before a serious knee injury effectively ended his career when he was just 29. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A footballer never forgotten. 12 July 2006
By Chulsk
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Colin Bell was one of the few footballers I've seen in the flesh who I'd describe as a genius. He deserves a greater testament to his time as a player than this book provides.

I appreciate that this is an autobiography of a footballer and not a work of high literature, but it fails for me because it is written in a very simplistic, almost schoolboy narrative. I understand that Colin Bell was not a gifted writer and I also appreciate that Ian Cheeseman is a worthy broadcaster but the book lacks depth.

I wanted to know more detail about his on pitch tussles against some of the best players of his time. I wanted a bit more of the banter that went on behind the scenes. I wanted more opinion as to why the Mercer/Allison management team was one of the most successful of it's day. That's essentially my problem with the book...I was just left wanting so much more.

Colin Bell remains one of my favourite players of all time. I was in the crowd when he sufferred the injury that cost him his playing career and deprived the England team of midfielder of the highest order as he approached his peak. This book gives what I feel is a mere taste of the Colin Bell story, and whilst it is a quick & easy read, I won't return to it again but satisfy myself with the glorious recollections of Colin Bell and the memories I have of the late sixties to early seventies Manchester City team that provided so much entertainment to the Blue half of Manchester for all too brief a period.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Colin Bell 17 July 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A good book about a quiet man. A quiet man who was lord of the field. He didn't need words to show who was the best, his feet and his brain proved that.

I pride myself in being a fan of City for 40 years and priveleged to have seen that golden era of the magnificent team the late 60's and early 70's.

This book is not full of "let me tell you what I did son" stories.

It is about a quiet, modest North East lad who went to the top of his game, only to have his career ended by injury far too early.

He showed strength and determination to get back on the field, at the same time, trying to maintain his dignity and raise a family.

The book tells it all, home and pitch life, up to the present day.

The author has done loyal fans a service by letting us know the real Colin Bell.

Sit back, open it up and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colin Bell - Reluctant Hero 29 Oct 2011
By Judy W
As a City fan who had seen Colin play at Maine Road in the early 70's I could not put this book down. How refreshing to read about a true gentleman with very unique skills who was not "full of himself". He was a wonderful player - he could do everything. He worked tiredlessly for City and gave the club his all - but he never forgot his working-class roots. I have DVD's of Manchester City's games in the 70's and also some of England's games in the same era and Colin stands out on both.

When Colin got the ball, the Kippax used to bounce with excitement - there was not many times when he missed a goal!! He was loyal through and through to City and our fans - and after watching Colin you could see why he was "The King of the Kippax".
A great read for any footy fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bell 3 May 2012
By Georgia
A fantastic read of a time when footballers were footballers and not pd an easy read of a footballing legend Colin Bell
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3.0 out of 5 stars Xmas gift 10 Jan 2012
The recipent of this present was a late teenage football fan of Man City, he was thrilled that I had thought out of the box for this as a gift. Books are often underated as a present now with so much technology. An autobiography I think is a book to pick up and put down so wouldn't work so well as a kindle offering as I watched him thumb backs and forwards to the photos
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
O.K.,I admit,that when I was a schoolboy and learning my own skills in the beautiful game,I thought that 'I' was Colin Bell! What a ding-dong player this man was.You find out that the player was and is the man.A smashing man,a good man.The book is a superb read.To Colin and Ian Cheeseman;'The lads have done well'.A win.A great result.
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