Cyrille Regis, Is a famous black British footballer, he was one of the earliest black players in the modern leagues. The striker, whose trademark was scoring highly spectacular goals, began his playing career at West Brom with star players like Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson, Derek Statham, Len Cantello and Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown.
Regis broke into the first team at West Bromwhich Albion within a few months of signing for West Brom in May 1977 and remembers some of the racial abuse that he endured initially from some of the Hawthorns crowd;
“I think they were rebelling against me ’cause I’d taken a white guy’s place in the team.” (Quoted in Cashmore, 1981, p154).
However, the West Brom fans, impressed by his early scoring exploits were quick to warm to the former electrician who had joined Albion from non-league Hayes. Regis believed that it was this early recognition and acceptance of his talents by both the club and fans alike, which allowed his career at West Brom to develop.
Large black communities in nearby Handsworth also provided support for Regis and his colleagues at a time when black fans were reluctant to attend matches for fear of their own safety. Regis would later reach the pinnacle of his career in 1987, when he was a key figure in Coventry City’s F.A. Cup winning triumph.
He stayed at Coventry City where another seven years winning the only major medal of his career. He then played two years for Aston Villa and ended his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester