THERE could be no more suitable place for the city of Coventry to celebrate the life of Cyrille Regis than the cathedral, should his family agree.
Coventry Cathedral, Sir Basil Spence’s glorious post-war symbol of unity and renewal, peace and reconciliation, embodies what Cyrille stood for and symbolised.
Big Cyrille campaigned to kick racism out of football and is widely respected as a pioneer for other black footballers and people. He handled racism hurled at him with quiet but determined dignity.
As with Jimmy Hill, whose memorial service was held at the cathedral, former England centre-forward Cyrille was seemingly universally admired citywide and nationwide, and not just for being one of English football’s all-time greats. A memorial service takes place at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
His story went into every Coventry home as an iconic member of the black and white 1987 Sky Blues FA cup winning side.
1987 remains indelibly etched in the city’s popular consciousness. Its significance in the city’s 1000-year story is passed through generations.
And as a Belgrade Theatre play ‘We Love You City’ once had it, that wonderful cup-winning side represented racial unity following tensions amid Coventry’s post-industrial decline.