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Football prepares to bid farewell to trailblazer…


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Fans and footballers have lined the streets as the funeral procession for trailblazing striker Cyrille Regis got underway at the stadium where he made his name. 

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to the former England and West Brom star as his cortege passed The Hawthorns stadium and headed for his funeral service.

Baggies manager Alan Pardew led his team and staff outside the club’s megastore and there was a round of applause as the procession went past. 

Regis, who died suddenly on January 14, was described as one of the modern game’s ‘pioneers’ and a ‘crusader against bigotry’ in a time when racism was rife in football.

Around 2,000 fans are expected at a memorial at The Hawthorns after the private family funeral takes place this morning. The open-air service for family, fans and the football community will be held in the East Stand at 10.30am following the funeral.

West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew, his staff and players pay their respects to the late Cyrille Regis outside the stadium

The car carrying the late Cyrille Regis is seen outside The Hawthorns, where the trailblazing footballer is remembered fondly

The car carrying the late Cyrille Regis is seen outside The Hawthorns, where the trailblazing footballer is remembered fondly

Some fans were reduced to tears as the car carrying the late footballer Cyrille Regis past by The Hawthorns stadium

Some fans were reduced to tears as the car carrying the late footballer Cyrille Regis past by The Hawthorns stadium

Fans gather outside the ground ahead of the the memorial service for Cyrille Regis at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich

Fans gather outside the ground ahead of the the memorial service for Cyrille Regis at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich

Regis was a trailblazer for black players in English football and made 297 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 112 goals

Regis earned five caps for England and won the FA Cup with Coventry in 1987

Regis was a trailblazer for black players in English football and made 297 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 112 goals

West Bromwich Albion players, including Gareth Barry (third right), gather outside their ground for the procession to pass by

West Bromwich Albion players, including Gareth Barry (third right), gather outside their ground for the procession to pass by

Regis was very clear about how he wanted this day to be and the songs, lively atmosphere and personal tributes are a reflection of his wishes, along with those of his wife Julia and his children Robert and Michelle

Regis was very clear about how he wanted this day to be and the songs, lively atmosphere and personal tributes are a reflection of his wishes, along with those of his wife Julia and his children Robert and Michelle

Regis was very clear about how he wanted this day to be and the songs, lively atmosphere and personal tributes are a reflection of his wishes, along with those of his wife Julia and his children Robert and Michelle.

There will be tributes from across the many facets of his life delivered by Brendon Batson, Graham Daniels from Christian in Sport, football agent and Chairman of Stellar Group Jonathan Barnett, John Sillett, manager of the Coventry City team with whom Cyrille won the FA Cup and John Homer, Chairman of WBA’s Official Supporter Club.

Family tributes will be provided by Regis’ children Robert and Michelle, his nephew and former Albion striker Jason Roberts and his brother and ex-professional footballer Dave Regis. The eulogy will be read by his widow, Julia.  

Regis was a trailblazer for black players in English football and made 297 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 112 goals.

He earned five caps for England and won the FA Cup with Coventry in 1987.

Tributes poured in earlier this month for a man, described by his wife as ‘a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle’.

He is survived by his wife, who he married in 2006, his children from his first marriage, Robert and Michelle, and his grandchildren, Jayda, Renee and Riley.

Tributes outside the ground ahead of the the memorial service for Cyrille Regis at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich 

Tributes outside the ground ahead of the the memorial service for Cyrille Regis at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich 

Regis, who became an MBE in 2008, had spells at Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester as his playing career drew to a close and after spending four years on the coaching staff at The Hawthorns, worked as a football agent until his death

Regis, who became an MBE in 2008, had spells at Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester as his playing career drew to a close and after spending four years on the coaching staff at The Hawthorns, worked as a football agent until his death

A West Bromwich Albion supporter, wearing a retro club shirt with 'R.I.P Cyrille' on the front, pays his respects to the football legend

A West Bromwich Albion supporter, wearing a retro club shirt with ‘R.I.P Cyrille’ on the front, pays his respects to the football legend

Cyrille Regis's funeral cortege arrives at The Hawthorns for a private family funeral and will be followed by a memorial service later today

Cyrille Regis’s funeral cortege arrives at The Hawthorns for a private family funeral and will be followed by a memorial service later today

Regis played his football in an era when racism was rife, paving the way for future generations along with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at West Brom and becoming just the third black player to win a full England cap – the first of five – when he lined up against Northern Ireland in February 1982

Regis played his football in an era when racism was rife, paving the way for future generations along with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at West Brom and becoming just the third black player to win a full England cap – the first of five – when he lined up against Northern Ireland in February 1982

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to the former England and West Brom star as his cortege passed The Hawthorns stadium and headed for his funeral service

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to the former England and West Brom star as his cortege passed The Hawthorns stadium and headed for his funeral service

Regis was described as one of the modern game’s ‘pioneers’ and a ‘crusader against bigotry’.

Born in French Guiana, Regis moved to west London with his family as a five-year-old and came late to professional football after being spotted as a teenager by non-league Molesey.

West Brom put their faith in him when they paid £5,000 to take him to The Hawthorns in May 1977. He moved to Coventry in a £250,000 switch in 1984.

Regis played his football in an era when racism was rife, paving the way for future generations along with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at West Brom and becoming just the third black player to win a full England cap – the first of five – when he lined up against Northern Ireland in February 1982.

He did so having been sent a bullet through the post, a chilling indictment of the climate in which he built his career.

Regis, who became an MBE in 2008, had spells at Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester as his playing career drew to a close and after spending four years on the coaching staff at The Hawthorns, worked as a football agent until his death.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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