COVENTRY City fans and members of the wider football community have been paying tribute to Sky Blues legend Cyrille Regis MBE, who died yesterday aged 59.
Regis, a former striker and FA Cup winner at Coventry City, passed away on Sunday following a cardiac arrest.
The former England international joined the Sky Blues in 1984 and appeared 238 times for the club, scoring 47 goals.
He also had a prolific spell at West Bromwich Albion, a team he played for 241 times, and also donned the shirts of Aston Villa, Wolverhampton, Wycombe and Chester.
Of his many highlights at the Sky Blues, Regis was part of the 1987 FA Cup winning side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Wembley in front of 96,000 fans.
Following his retirement from football, Regis and his wife Julia visited WaterAid projects in Ethiopia with the aim of providing safe drinking water for thousands of the country’s residents.
He was also appointed Member of the British Empire in 2008.
Reacting to the news, Coventry City paid tribute to Regis – stating he was a strong, powerful striker and gentleman.
The club said: “Cyrille was still a regular visitor to the Ricoh Arena on matchdays, always humble and taking the time to speak to supporters.”
Gary Lineker tweeted: “Saddened to hear that Cyrille Regis has passed away. A tremendous striker and a fine man whose legacy goes beyond the game, helping to pave a way for black footballers in this country. #RIPCyrille.”
Former Coventry City player Kevin Gallacher, who teamed up with Regis at the Sky Blues in the early 90s, added: “Can’t believe I wake up to find very sad news about my former @Coventry_City strike partner. RIP Cyrille Regis, (big C) Never forget how his physical presence helped me score so many goals and settle into English football. #legend.”
Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer said: “What a man. What a centre-forward! One of my earliest football memories was walking into WBA for a trial as a 13-year-old kid, seeing Cyrille Regis and being in awe of him. RIP big man.”