Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:14:05 +0000: 'By changing football, he changed the country': our readers on Cyrille Regis - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian
Cyrille Regis was not just an international footballer. He was a special man who touched the lives of the people he met
Football fans across the country have been united in grief by the news that Cyrille Regis has died at the age of 59 after suffering a heart attack. Regis, who won five caps for England, was perhaps best known for his “Three Degrees” days at West Brom and for winning the FA Cup with Coventry in 1987. But he was more than a player; he helped changed attitudes in the game and in the country, as our readers have been recalling.
We published a range of pieces about Regis yesterday – an obituary, an interview from our archive, a short video featuring him in action and some memories from Richard Williams – and our readers responded in kind by contributing their own stories. Here are a few of their memories:
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son. Nice one Cyrille, let’s have another one,” is my earliest memory of a football match. As a seven-year-old I stood at the back of a stand at the Hawthorns and heard that being roared. It has stuck in my memory forever.
I had the good fortune to meet the great man once. I was in a Wacky Warehouse with my daughter and he was there with his granddaughter. We were the only two adults in the room and I asked him if he was Cyrille Regis. He put down his paper, smiled, said: “Yes I am.” We spent the next 90 minutes talking about the Albion and football. He gave his time without a moment’s hesitation.
Cyrille Regis changed football for the better with a high cost to himself and he did it back in the day, when he would not have been paid silly money like they are today. By changing football, he also changed the country’s attitude. Football fans now call out racists at games – maybe not every time but most of the time – and that was all started off by Cyrille and the other black footballers of those days. It is such a shame he has died so young. JDOxford
When I saw the photo of him on the website I cried out “oh no” so loud my colleagues thought I had received news of the passing of nearest and dearest. I’m devastated to learn of the passing of this maestro, a proper centre-forward, powerful, no-nonsense, skilled and a true star. He won far too few England caps. It is clear the Midlands is in mourning for this great man who I admired and enjoyed watching play. I am a Manchester City supporter and would have loved to watch him play for City, but he played for many other great clubs, and with such distinction.
I am very pleased to note that City, in a very small way, perhaps paved the way for Regis and others when they played a black footballer, Stan Horne, in the 1960s. I met Stan and would have loved to have met Cyrille. The football world is a poorer place for his passing; the warmth and dignity of his widow’s words moistened my eyes almost as much as reading of his death. RIP big man. 27August66
What an amazing footballer, what an amazing man. It is shocking to read about the vile prejudice Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson and other black players had to suffer. Such racism still exists in football today but is not as widespread or easily accepted as it was in the 1970s. The skills and character of Cyrille Regis helped to make life better for black footballers in the UK. RIP Cyrille. purplesurfer
A good enough player that Johan Cruyff quit at Ajax when they messed up getting him in as Marco van Basten’s replacement – according to Cruyff’s biography. To be rated by Cruyff and to be considered good enough to replace Van Basten says it all about his ability. The way he dealt with the crap thrown at him says it all about his character. Viking71
A generation of Albion fans revelled in his power and poise. He was our hero, but his dignity and grace transcended football. He was a role model in so many ways. He was a quiet achiever. He lead by example on and off the pitch. He invested good deeds and actions back into our community.
As a player he lifted Baggies’ hearts and spirits with his bravado, electric pace and monumental goals. Because he was fabulous, so were we. Magnificent times. Great memories. WestBromAlbion
Related: David Squires on … Cyrille Regis, one of British football's most important players
As a young trade journalist about 15 years ago I was invited to a press event at a curry restaurant in Mayfair. It was to publicise Jamaica’s first fixture in London, I think. I wouldn’t have bothered going until I saw guest of honour was none other than Cyrille Regis, who was working as an agent at the time.
My mate Amos was a mad Coventry fan, who had grown up idolising big Cyrille; he believed he was the great lost English-centre forward, unfairly ignored in favour of lesser technically gifted players such as Mark Hateley, Gary Lineker and Kerry Dixon. Amos loved the man. Continue reading...Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:32:00 +0000: Cyrille Regis, former West Brom and England striker, dies aged 59 - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian
• Regis was a pioneer for black footballers in the late 1970s
• The striker suffered a heart attack on Sunday night
Football was engulfed in grief but united in its admiration for Cyrille Regis following his untimely death at the age of 59.
The former West Brom and England striker, who endured grotesque abuse from the terraces in the 1970s and 80s, blazed a trail for black footballers in England through his spellbinding goals and iron will, which transformed attitudes on and off the field, in concert at Albion with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson.
Related: Cyrille Regis: a pioneer on the pitch and the leader of a generation | Richard Williams
Cyrille Regis was a true hero of football. He helped change attitudes on the terraces and in society, while often being subject to horrific racist abuse himself. #RIPCyrille @Coventry_City @WBA
An unbelievable player and a gentleman respected by all his fellow professionals RIP my friend you will be sadly missed pic.twitter.com/XsT5QRvm18
Related: From the archive: Ian Ridley interviews Cyrille Regis – 1990
(January 1, 1958) Regis is born in Maripasoula, French Guiana