I was sad to hear of the untimely death of Cyrille Regis. He was a trailblazer for a whole generation of black footballers that you could be a success in the game.
He also gave my generation and the generations that followed the confi dence to push forward. I saw him last year at an awards evening and he looked incredibly well so it was a bit of a shock. I played against him a few times and I’m sure Alvin Martin would be able to give you a better overview of what he was like on the pitch but I can remember him being a robust centre forward who gave as good as he got.
I’m sure I was watching him play once, in the stands as a youngster, and he was up against Alvin and the crowd gave him stick right from the off but by the end of the game, he was clapped off .
West Ham fans are very football wise and could recognise how talented he was. He was an inspiration to me and a pioneer of our game because he was a man breaking down barriers and playing the game he loved under immense pressure and scrutiny. Let’s not forget that he received a bullet in the post after being selected to represent England but pushed forward with fearlessness and pride.