Premier League players to wear black armbands for Cyrille Regis

There is disbelief that the Premier League are not planning a nationwide tribute to Cyrille Regis

All Premier League players will wear black armbands and clubs will hold a minute's applause before this weekend's games.

In the 1978/79 season, he formed a famous alliance with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson, who were nicknamed the Three Degrees by manager Ron Atkinson. Nottingham Forest's Viv Anderson was the fourth and as they went about their business, they were subjected to no end of unspeakable racist abuse from the terraces. "Bravery is getting on the pitch and doing your job while bananas are chucked at you". Former Manchester United striker Andy "Andrew" Cole described Regis as "my hero, my pioneer, the man behind the reason I wanted to play football". At his next club, Coventry City, he was an integral part of an FA Cup final win in 1987 and an influential figure in the club's rise to top-half respectability.

Mr. Regis became only the third black England global when he made his debut for the team in 1982.

Born in French Guiana in 1958, Regis moved to London with his family when he was 5.

"Everyone will have their precious memories of him as a family man, as a crusader against bigotry - which can never be emphasised enough - and as a man who threw considerable energy into a series of worthy causes".

"Cyrille was not just a tremendous footballer".

The Premier League said on Friday it recognised Regis' career and "his special role as a trailblazer for black players in modern English football".

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Cyrille Regis' funeral will be held at the end of the month after the former West Brom striker died on Sunday. That was enough to persuade the directors, and in May 1977, aged 19, Regis arrived at the Hawthorns.

A statute of the trio called "The Celebration" was unveiled at West Brom four years ago.

He was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1978.

Appointed an MBE in 2008, he returned to West Brom as a coach before becoming a football agent.

He was a trustee for Christians in Sport, and of his nephew Jason Roberts' Foundation, and worked as an ambassador for worldwide charity Wateraid and was the honorary president of the Midlands Junior Premier League.

He is survived by his wife Julia and his children from his first marriage, Robert and Michelle and three grandchildren.


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