English Premiership

West Brom stars, fans say farewell to Regis

Cyrille Regis (AP)
Cyrille Regis (AP)

London - West Bromwich Albion players and hundreds of fans paid tribute to the life of the club's former England striker Cyrille Regis on Tuesday.

Albion legend Regis, who scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for West Brom, died aged 59 on January 14.

In a celebration of his ground-breaking career, Regis' funeral cortege was greeted with applause as it arrived at Albion's Hawthorns stadium.

West Brom manager Alan Pardew, captain Jonny Evans and goalkeeper Ben Foster were among those there to pay their respects.

The cortege left for a private service before a public service at The Hawthorns for fans and figures from around the world of football.

Carlton Palmer, Ron Atkinson, Les Ferdinand, Chris Hughton, Steve Bull and Brendon Batson all came to pay their respects with 1,800 fans in attendance.

'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables' was sung by Chris Love to open the service, with club anthem 'The Lord's My Shepherd' also played.

Regis was described as "our brightest star" by Jonathan Barnett, chairman of the Stellar Agency where Regis worked as an agent after retiring.

"As a player he was strong, direct, cool and resilient, as an agent he showed every one of those qualities and so much more," he said.

Regis's former team-mate Batson saluted his refusal to be intimidated by the racism that was rife in English football when he rose to the top.

"We played at a time when black players endured vile abuse but Cyrille never lost his cool, nor was he ever intimidated. It motivated him to play even better," he said.

"How could anyone think they could intimidate the big man? You couldn't. We are blessed to have known him. Nice one Cyrille, nice one son."

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