These days the Man of the Match from that epic 21-6 triumph over Colomiers at a packed Lansdowne Road is the Elite Player Development Officer at Ulster and will play a big part in the build up to the clash at stadium:mk.
Bell played with Paul Grayson, who is on the Saints coaching contingent, during his time at Franklin's Gardens and pipped his old team-mate to a coveted Heineken Cup winners' medal by one season.
"I loved my time at Northampton. It is a real rugby town and Franklin's Gardens is an unbelievable ground," said the 36-times capped Bell.
"The form they showed during the Heineken Cup was very, very good and, even though they had a bit of a slump during the 6 Nations, now they have got their quality players back they have become a different animal.
"It is going to be a massive task to go there and win and we know we will travel as massive underdogs. Reaching the quarter-finals has been a big, big step for us, but we can't settle for that.
"We know that any of the other teams in the last eight would have been happy to have drawn us, so we have got to go to Milton Keynes and get a good performance out of our side. If we play very, very well I'm confident that we stand a good chance of beating them.
"If we were having to go to France and win it might be different. But stadium:mk is a pretty neutral venue and everything is there for us to play for.
"At this stage of the season in the past we have been involved in dead rubber matches, but this season we are in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and are involved in the business end of the Magners League campaign.
"We know that Saints are quite structured up to a point, but when they go through the phases and bring the likes of Chris Ashton and Ben Foden into play they become very dangerous. Ashton is a natural finisher and Foden causes massive danger if teams get tired or lazy."
Both Bell and Director of Rugby David Humphreys provide direct links from the current Ulster squad to the team that became the first Irish province to be crowned champions of Europe back in 1999 and they hope to use their experience as inspiration to combine with the professionalism of their South African contingent.
With Ireland's 2009 British & Irish Lion Stephen Ferris ruled out after undergoing surgery, it will be the likes of Super 14 winner Pedrie Wannenburg, Springbok Lions slayer Ruan Pienaar and South African internationals BJ Botha and Johann Muller.
"It is a big blow not having Stephen Ferris, but we certainly have more depth in our squad this season. The South Africans have been brilliant both on and off the field and they have introduced belief, professionalism and a great attitude at the club," he added.
"Now we have players in key positions who are bringing out the best in others around them. Ulster has been a team in transition in recent years, a side that has been trying to learn how to win, but the Springboks have brought a winning culture with them and will go to Milton Keynes having won six in a row in the Magners League."