Cyrille Regis, who has died aged 59 of a suspected heart attack, was a greatly admired centre-forward with West Bromwich Albion, Coventry and England and one of the first black footballers to make a significant impact on the British game.
Strong, quick and direct, he had an excellent touch and a very rare ability to score spectacular goals, typically picking up the ball from just inside the opposition’s half, beating a couple of players with a http://www.officialredsoxauthentic.com/David_Ortiz_Jersey dynamic, powerful run, and then shooting from outside the penalty area with unerring accuracy – as epitomised by his Goal of the Season against Norwich in the FA Cup in 1982.
With Regis as the focal point and their manager, Ron Atkinson, looking to play entertaining football, the West Brom team he graced in the late 1970s and early 80s was an exciting outfit that included Bryan Robson and, unusually for the time, two other black youngsters, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson, who, together with Regis, inspired a generation of black British players to take up the game.
West Brom finished third and fourth in the First Division during Regis’s time, a fondly remembered era that ended shortly after he left in 1984. 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. He played five times for England between 1982 and 1987 and would probably have won more caps but for the dominance during his time of the outstanding Gary Lineker.
Regis was born in Maripasoula, French Guiana, to Robert, a fisherman turned gold miner originally from St Lucia, and his wife, Mathilde (nee Fadaire), a seamstress, whose family hailed from Guadelope. After his gold mining venture came to nought, Robert moved in 1962 to Britain Womens Rudy Gay Jersey to find work as a labourer. The family spent a year in http://www.authenticnewyorkmetsshop.com/Nolan-Ryan-Jersey St Lucia before joining him, when Cyrille was five, to settle in Stonebridge, north-west London.
Cyrille went to Cardinal Hinsley school (now Newman Catholic college) in Harlesden, where he showed talent at cricket, football and athletics. After school he worked as an electrician while playing as a semi-professional non-league footballer, first for Molesey in Surrey and then for Hayes in west London.
It was at Hayes that he was spotted by West Brom’s chief scout, the former England striker Ronnie Allen, who was so convinced of the young man’s ability that when the West Brom board voiced doubts about signing him for £5,000, he offered to Austin Czarnik Jersey put up his own money. That was enough to persuade the directors, and in May 1977, aged 19, Regis arrived at the Hawthorns.
Allen’s faith in him was repaid immediately: he scored twice on his debut in a League Cup match against Rotherham and then produced a goal of trademark brilliance on his first League outing against Thaddeus Young Womens Jersey Middlesbrough, running with the ball from the halfway line before unleashing from the edge of the penalty area. He was named PFA Young Player of the Year in 1978 and, having played for England Under 21s in the same year, was given his first international cap in 1982 against Northern Ireland, only the third black player to play for England after Viv Anderson and Cunningham.
“I http://www.authenticstlouiscardinals.com/Matt-Carpenter-Jersey had some great years at Albion but there was just a little sadness that we didn’t win anything,” he said. With 112 goals from 297 appearances there was no question that Regis contributed hugely to a happy period at West Brom, but if he had a failing it was that he was hardly as prolific as his poise and power suggested he could be. In contrast to Lineker, he was much less of a sniffer of close-range goals, and Atkinson only half-jokingly chided him for his inability to score scruffily inside the six-yard area. “Every one of his goals would win goal of the month,” he said ruefully.