Shock over loss of true legend Cyrille Regis

A tremendous footballer an even better man’ – West Brom legend Brendon Batson’s touching tribute to the late great Cyrille Regis

The club said in statement on their official website, "Coventry City Football Club is deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the death of former striker and FA Cup winning hero Cyrille Regis".

Together with defender Brendan Batson and winger Laurie Cunningham, burly centre-forward Regis made up what became known as the "Three Degrees", a rare trio of black players in the same team, named after the soul music trio of the era.

Regis visited Bermuda with Coventry City in the 1980s, and in 2014 as a guest of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Bermuda Foundation.

He was a close friend of local professional footballers Clyde Best and Kyle Lightbourne, who are coming to grips with the late strikers passing. He wrote: "Clearly someone didn't approve of my selection because they had cut out individual letters from a newspaper and stuck them on a sheet of paper to spell out a message that read, "If you put your foot on our Wembley turf, you'll get one of these through your knees". “Hes surely going to be missed and my prayers go out to his wife and family.

“What we have to do is remember him for all the good things that he did.

“I liked him as a player and the way he got around for such a big fellow.

“He is surely going to be a miss and I will always appreciate Cyrille because of him, Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham.

Before retiring in 1996, Regis also played for teams like Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers. "That for me is a living testimony and that's what he wanted and what he was striving for until his very last breath".

"Cyrille was a pioneer in British football and hugely respected by everyone in the game". 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. Here he is a legend in the game and someone from Bermuda inspired him to play professional football!

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"Our honest condolences go to his family friends and colleagues".

Ratcliffe and Regis, who had clashed as players in top flight first division football during their Everton and West Brom days, met up to hammer out a deal.

"Brendan (Batson), Cyrille and Laurie (Cunningham) did so much for black players in the game". But I also think he was a better bloke than a player.

"Cyrille Regis exemplified "grace under pressure".

For me, though, he will for ever be one of the players who helped bridge the racial divide.

"At times, it was nearly like surround sound in the grounds. I've only just been told myself".

The Regis family used Cyrille's Twitter account on Tuesday to express their gratitude for all the support they have received in the wake of his death. It was taken in 1988 at Edgbaston during a West Indies training session the day before a one-day worldwide. I took it out, opened it up and there it was.

“I gave Dennis a black and white photo to give to Cyrille and it ended up in his book.

Allen, Albion manager by the start of the 1977 season after the sudden departure of Johnny Giles, played Regis for the first time in a League Cup tie against Rotherham in midweek.


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