West Brom legend Regis dies aged 59

West Brom legend Regis dies aged 59

West Brom legend Regis dies aged 59

The former Baggies player died aged 59 after falling ill on Sunday night and Deane, one of United's all-time greatest strikers, broke down in tears as he paid tribute to Regis.

Regis was an Albion striker for seven years during the club's heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The ex-footballer, who scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for West Bromwich Albion, also turned out for Coventry City and Aston Villa in the top flight, as well as playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester City in the later years of his career before retiring in 1996.

"A tremendous striker and fine man whose legacy goes beyond the game, helping to pave a way for black footballers in this country".

The trio became known as the "Three Degrees" and were frequently the targets of racist abuse and chants.

Regis played five times for England and was the third black player to receive a senior cap for the Three Lions, following in the footsteps of Viv Anderson and Cunningham.

Former Crystal Palace forward Mark Bright tweeted: "He was more than just a footballer, he blazed a trail for every black player who followed him, an inspiration to myself and many players of my era".

Regis was born on February 9, 1958 in the South American country French Guiana, to Robert and Mathile Regis.

Broadcaster and West Brom fan Adrian Chiles had been due to meet Regis and former team-mate Batson on Tuesday, he told Radio 4's Today programme.

"He came into football the hard way and never lost his passion for the game". "He was a role model for so many because he always treated everyone he met with kindness and respect". His second season was even better than his first, finishing with 13 goals as well as being voted the PFA Player of the Year.

"The worst for me was getting my first England cap and receiving a bullet through the post saying 'if you put your foot on our Wembley turf, you'll get one of these for your knees, '" Regis recalled.

Coventry City, whom he helped to FA Cup glory in 1987, described Regis as a "legend" and a "hero".

He was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to the voluntary sector.

On the West Brom website, chairman John Williams called Regis "a crusader against bigotry".

In 1975-76 and 1976-77, Regis played for non-league sides Molesley and Hayes respectively, with West Brom spotting him after he scored 24 goals in the Isthmian League.

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