Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

West Brom legend Cyrille Regis dies aged 59

West Brom legend Cyrille Regis dies aged 59

Regis started his career at the Hawthorns, going on to make 241 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 81 goals.

Regis was born in French Guiana but moved to London with his family at the age of five. When he was just a child, he followed his father to London, where he impressed as an athlete at school.

He was spotted playing Sunday morning football by the chairman of Surrey non-league club Molesey.

Who did Cyrille Regis play for? He scored twice in a League Cup tie at Rotherham. His league debut also saw him find the net, and he finished his maiden campaign in the First Division with 10 goals.

Together with Brendon Batson and the late Laurie Cunningham, Regis formed part of a West Brom trio nicknamed "The Three Degrees" by manager Ron Atkinson.

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"But for me, I will never forget Cyrille the footballer - a wonderful, wonderful player who had everything and who defenders of the time would have hated facing".

Regis was a member of the Sky Blues team which famously lifted the FA Cup in 1987, earning himself a place in the folklore of another club. He scored in the third round and the quarter-final and had a goal ruled out for offside as City defeated Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

He would go on to play for Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester City before hanging up his boots in 1996.

But the honour of being called up for his country in 1982, four years after Viv Anderson became England's first black player, exposed Regis to even more aggressive racism.

Regis later rejoined West Brom as a coach before becoming a football agent, and was granted the prestigious United Kingdom civilian award of MBE in 2008 for services to charity and football.

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"I have been lucky to work with some great players but whenever I am asked to name my best team, he is always the centre forward in it", Atkinson, who somewhat ironically resigned from his TV pundit role in 2004 after making a racist comment told the West Brom podcast "Woodman Corner".

He was awarded an MBE in the Birthday Honours in 2008 for his services to football.

You get to watch Match of the Day with your dad and hear him scream at the top of his voice when a West Brom striker smashes one in the top corner against Norwich.

"Cyrille was the main reason why a lot of young black kids looked at football and thought there was a genuine opportunity to play. That's why the statue will be so important".

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