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Hundreds of fans attend memorial for Christian sports icon Cyrille Regis

Wed 31 Jan 2018
By Press Association

More than 400 West Brom fans, staff and players turned out at the club's Hawthorns stadium to bid a fond farewell to former England and Baggies striker Cyrille Regis.

Regis, who scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for West Brom, died suddenly on January 14, aged 59.

Regis' funeral cortege was greeted with applause as it arrived at the club's ground and the likes of manager Alan Pardew, captain Jonny Evans and goalkeeper Ben Foster were there to pay their respects.

 

The cortege left for a private service at around 8.45am before a public service at The Hawthorns for fans and figures from around the world of football.

West Brom and the footballing community paid tribute to Cyrille Regis at an emotional memorial service at The Hawthorns.

The former Albion, Coventry, Aston Villa and Wolves striker died suddenly aged 59 earlier this month and had a private family funeral on Tuesday morning.

Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

The Baggies then held a public service for the ex-England international and footballing pioneer, who is recognised as paving the way for a generation of black players.

Carlton Palmer, Ron Atkinson, Les Ferdinand, Chris Hughton, Steve Bull and Brendon Batson all came to pay their respects with 1800 fans in attendance.

'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables' was sung by Chris Love to open the service, with club anthem 'The Lord's My Shepherd' also played.

Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

Regis was described as "our brightest star" by Jonathan Barnett, chairman of the Stellar Agency where Regis worked as an agent.

"As a player he was strong, direct, cool and resilient, as an agent he showed every one of those qualities and so much more," he said.

"We had a young client on the fringes of the game, struggling at home, making mistakes, beset with demons. There was only one man for the job, and in Cyrille went.

Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

"A decade later that client is a Premier League star who owes everything to Cyrille."

Former team-mate Brendon Batson said: "We played at a time when black players endured vile abuse but Cyrille never lost his cool, nor was he ever intimidated. It motivated him to play even better.

"How could anyone think they could intimidate the big man? You couldn't. We are blessed to have known him. Nice one Cyrille, nice one son."

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