Cyrille Regis: The Final farewell
1 month ago Anand Vardhan 0
The football world paid tribute to the legend of the game, Cyrille Regis, both on and off the field on Saturday with a minute’s applause at the Premier League games and all the players wearing black armbands. The Englishman passed away at the age of 59 of a heart attack.
Regis, being a tall powerful and direct player had his say on the pitch whenever he went. Having the ability to beat defenders in the blink of an eye and to make direct runs into the opposition’s heart and hurting them with powerful strikes having an accuracy which would put the footballing greats to shame. That would have been the perfect description of his natural ability on the ball and the ability to stay calm in critical situations. His goal against Norwich in the FA-Cup in 1982 was voted as the goal of the season. Taking the ball on his chest on the turn and then unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top right corner was worthy of the Goal of the season award. A gem of a strike from a gem of a footballer.
He was not just an inspiration on the pitch but he was a hero of it as well. Being one of the first prominent black English footballers to grace the ‘beautiful game’ he along with Lurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson, Regis inspired a generation of black youngsters to take up the game and dream of making it big in the professional leagues. Racism was at the high peak of the football and the English society in the 70’s and the 80’s when Regis graced the game. Having had to suffer all his life due to the dark complexion of his skin, Regis ignored all that was thrown at him due to his color. He kept performing wonders on the pitch and the fans kept singing his name in chanting whenever he had the ball at his feet, they all expected him to do the unthinkable and he never failed to disappoint them.
Regis was one of the first black English players to leave his mark on the game.
With 112 goals from 297 appearances, Cyrille Regis will always be a West Brom legend. But his contributions to the society through football bridged the gap between white players and black players. He was certainly a great player but we must not forget the fact that how great a human being he was. The world would certainly miss such a personality but his legacy will never be forgotten. R.I.P Cyrille Regis.