On the 14th January, the footballing world lost one of its greats. Cyrille Regis gained 5 caps for England, and made 614 career appearances for various clubs in England, but perhaps Cyrille was most well known for being a trail blazer for black footballers. During his time at West Brom, he played alongside Laurie Cunningham and Brendan Batson, who were nicknamed the three degrees.
These three black players were subjected to racist abuse during the 1970s. The abuse included the chant “pull that trigger, shoot that n*****”, and receiving bullets in the post. Despite this, he continued to inspire young black players to pursue the game. The three broke down barriers and showed the heights that could be achieved for black players. They are to be honoured with a statue this season at the Hawthorns.
An electrifying player on the pitch, and a role model off it. Rest in peace to one of the true gentlemen of the game, Cyrille Regis.