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Posts Tagged ‘West Bromwich’

West Brom legend Cyrille Regis dies at 59

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Former West Brom and Coventry forward Cyrille Regis has died, aged 59.

Regis won five caps for England between 1982 and 1987, having been one of the stars of the Baggies team between 1977 and 1984.

He scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for Albion before moving on to Coventry, winning the FA Cup with the Sky Blues in 1987.

The Professional Footballers’ Association announced the news on Monday morning and wrote in a tweet from its official account: “A true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed. Our sympathies to his family and friends.”

Regis was born in French Guiana in February 1958 but moved to London with his family at the age of five.

He did not come through the youth ranks with a professional club and was instead spotted playing Sunday morning football by the chairman of Surrey non-league club Molesey.

View photos

Laurie Cunningham, Brendan Batson and Cyrille Regis were nicknamed The Three Degrees – and here they are with the American pop trio

But it was in the top tier of English football that his goalscoring feats were most lauded, netting 158 league goals.

In 1984 he moved to Coventry City where he continued where he left off with the Baggies, with 62 goals – and his only major trophy in football came in 1987 when he won the FA Cup with the Sky Blues.

Regis also played for Aston Villa and Wolves before spells at Wycombe and Chester where he ended his career.

Regis represented England at under-21 level and won his first senior cap in February 1982 against Northern Ireland.

His final cap came against Turkey in October 1987.

After his stint at Coventry he also played for Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester before ending his playing career in 1996.

He worked as an agent for the Stellar Group after his retirement from the game, and the agency’s chief executive Jonathan Barnett released a statement to Press Association Sport on Monday.

Wonderful

“Cyrille was a wonderful person to work with and his death has left everyone in the company and the players he represented with a great sense of sadness,” Barnett said.

“Cyrille was a pioneer in British football and hugely respected by everyone in the game. He was a role model to his young clients and a genuinely lovely man.”

The statement from Stellar also praised Regis for his “passion, determination and integrity, especially in the way he would champion the careers of up and coming players”.

Praising the role played by Regis in dealing with racism, he said: “In later years I was privileged to get to know him as a friend and he just didn’t carry anger with him from that time. Apart from being a powerful and talented striker, Regis inspired a generation of black players at a time when they were a rarity in the top echelons of English soccer and were regularly subjected to racial abuse from crowds.

On one occasion he received a bullet in the mail along with a threat that he would get one in the knee if he played for England at Wembley.

“The racism was quite abhorrent but I turned a negative into a positive,” he recalled. “I chased harder and played harder, I wanted to score goals and win points.”

Regis returned to West Brom as a coach before becoming a football agent.