The terrible news we're all waking up to today is that the great Cyrille Regis has passed away at the age of just 59.
Regis was a pioneer for black footballers in Britain and played alongside Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson during his time at the Hawthorns that helped change the face of the game when it came to racial equality, despite the trio being racially abused by opposition fans on numerous occasions in the late 1970s. Our honest condolences go to his family friends and colleagues.
The PFA tweeted that Regis was "a true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed".
At a time 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. But I also think he was a better bloke than a player.
The West Brom people - chief scout Roy Horobin and, the more they played and associated themselves with football and became very good at it.
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Tributes for Regis have flooded in from across the footballing world, with players past and present quick to pay homage to an inspirational figure in the English game.
He made 614 league appearances and scored 158 league goals during his 19 year professional playing career.
He also played for Aston Villa and Wolves.
Regis was born on February 9, 1958 in the South American country French Guiana, to Robert and Mathile Regis.
Regis was a member of the Sky Blues team which famously lifted the FA Cup in 1987, earning himself a place in the folklore of another club.
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Regis scored twice on his debut for West Brom in a League Cup victory against Rotherham in August 1977 and scored again on his league debut three days later.
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke said: "Cyrille will not only be remembered across the West Midlands and England for his goalscoring exploits, but as someone who broke new ground and paved the way for a generation of young black players in this country during the 70s and 80s".
Former West Brom manager Ron Atkinson took him to Aston Villa in 1991, and he played in the inaugural Premier League season the following year as Villa finished runners-up.
He was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to the voluntary sector.
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