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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 20 January, 2019

Premier League clubs will pay special tribute to trailblazing black footballer Regis this weekend

A minute’s applause has been scheduled around the grounds for the former West Brom and England forward.

Regis during his West Brom days.
Regis during his West Brom days.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

FORMER WEST BROM and England forward Cyrille Regis, a trailblazer for black players, will be honoured at all Premier League matches this weekend.

The Premier League have announced there will be a minute’s applause and all the players would wear black armbands as a tribute to the swashbuckling striker, who died on Sunday aged 59.

He scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for the Baggies before moving on to Coventry and winning the FA Cup in 1987.

“The Premier League recognises the important career of Cyrille Regis, and his special role as a trailblazer for black players in modern English football,” the Premier League said in a statement.

Clubs will mark his contribution with a minute of applause and the wearing of black armbands at this weekend’s matches.

“The League embraces requests from clubs and stakeholders to celebrate the lives of people who have made a unique contribution to the sport.”

West Bromwich Albion v Watford - Premier League - The Hawthorns Pictured at The Hawthorns last September. Source: Mike Egerton

Regis played five times for England between 1982 and 1987 and was one of the stars of the West Brom team between 1977 and 1984 alongside two other back players, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson.

The trio faced frequent racist abuse from opposing fans throughout their careers.

Regis was born in French Guiana in February 1958 but moved to London with his family at the age of five. He was spotted playing Sunday morning football in Regent’s Park in London by the chairman of a non-league club.

He trained as an electrician and was playing for Hayes in non-league football when he attracted the attention of top clubs and was bought by West Brom for £5,000 in 1977.

At a time when the only other black player appearing regularly in the English top flight was Viv Anderson at Nottingham Forest, Regis, thrilling winger Cunningham, and Batson, an elegant defender, were a novelty in English football.

© AFP 2018

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