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Former England footballer and Christian, Cyrille Regis has died aged 59 after suffering a suspected heart-attack.
Regis, who made nearly 300 appearances for West Brom and 274 at Coventry City, later became a trustee at Christians for Sport.
Saddened to hear of the passing of Cyrille Regis MBE. It is testament to his enduring popularity that he is loved by supporters of four of our region’s clubs. He did so much to blaze a trail for racial equality in football and will be missed.— Andy Street (@andy4wm) January 15, 2018
Graham Daniels is the general director at Christians in Sport and was also a close friend to Regis.
He told Premier News Hour that Regis will be remembered as a "humble man" and an "ambassador for Christ".
"He shared influence as a Christian at the highest level of football and a role model to hundreds of professionals and thousands of young people, who wanted to stand for Christ, but hadn't had a role model," Daniels said.
"He did both which is remarkable in one career."
Regarded as a pioneer for black footballers during the 1970s, he became a Christian following the death of his colleague Laurie Cunningham in a car crash in 1989.
Regis, who attended the Renewal Christian Centre church in Solihull, West Midlands played for England five times before retiring from football in 1996.
RIP Cyrille Regis, 59.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 15, 2018
West Brom & England star & one of Britain’s first prominent black footballers. Very sad news. pic.twitter.com/BzZSQvKMDm
Speaking with Christians In Sport about he conversion, he once said: "I meet people all the time, some famous, some not who are all looking for hope and peace.
"I have learned that money cannot buy peace of mind so I simply tell people how I found hope and peace in God.
Awful news about the death of Cyrille Regis. Huge figure in football... a trailblazer, a wonderful talent and a thoroughly top bloke.— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) January 15, 2018
"The great thing about it is that anyone can have the peace that I have, you just need to know God."
Regis worked as a coach at West Brom before becoming a football agent.
A ten-foot statue honouring Regis and fellow footballers Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson was unveiled in West Bromwich four years ago.
Listen to Graham Daniels speaking with Premier's Alex Williams here:
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