Former England footballer Cyrille Regis dies aged 59

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Former West Brom and England forward Cyrille Regis, who blazed a trail for black players, has died at the age of 59, the Professional Footballers' Association announced on Monday.

Following his immigration to England (Regis was born in French Guiana in the fifties), Regis broke through the ranks of non-league football before signing up with West Bromwich Albion.

Regis later played for Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester City.

As an worldwide, Regis represented England at Under-21 and B level, before making his senior debut against Northern Ireland in 1982.

Regis, who retired from his playing career in 1996, was awarded an MBE in 2008 for his charity work and services to football.

Regis's father, a gold prospector at the time, had intended for his son to be named Gilbert Cyrille Regis, but in what can only be described as a classic you-had-one-job moment, the pal who he tasked with registering his son's birth on a visit to the Guianan capital of Cayenne came up one name short.

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Regis won the FA Cup with Coventry in 1987 and ended up making 238 appearances for the club.

Regis won five caps for England between 1982 and 1987, having been one of the stars of the Baggies team between 1977 and 1984.

As a striker, chiefly with West Brom and Coventry, Regis brought great pleasure to connoisseurs of emphatic scoring.

TRIBUTES are paid to footballing pioneer Cyrille Regis, a Monmouthshire councillor has recalled meeting the former England striker. West Brom are due to unveil a 10-foot statue of Regis, Cunningham and Batson at the Hawthorns this season.

"Our honest condolences go to his family friends and colleagues". Regis told the BBC in 2013: "We were part of that first generation of black players in this country".

"Cyrille was a pioneer in British football and hugely respected by everyone in the game".

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