Club pledge support to project celebrating pioneering work of Regis, Batson and Cunningham
ALBION have pledged their support to a project celebrating the pioneering work of iconic players Brendon Batson MBE, Cyrille Regis MBE and Laurie Cunningham.
Plans to immortalise the former Baggies trio, who blazed a trail for black footballers in this country in the late seventies, in a ten foot bronze statue in West Bromwich town centre were announced today at Sandwell Council House.
The statue, called ‘The Celebration,’ is being created by renowned sculptor Graham Ibbeson and will be unveiled on July 14, 2014 – the 25th anniversary of Laurie’s death in a car crash in Spain. The initiative is being led by Black Country businessman Jim Cadman with the help of Sandwell Council.
It is the second tribute to be announced this year in honour of players from the team that graced the top flight so memorably in the late seventies. In January, the club confirmed that work was well underway on a tribute in honour of record appearance-maker and goalscorer, Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown, that will take pride of place at The Hawthorns.
“Our plans to honour Tony’s incomparable service to the club have been well documented,” said chief executive Mark Jenkins.
“We’re working hand in hand with Tony and all parties are delighted with how the project is progressing.
“Tony was obviously team-mates with Brendon, Cyrille and Laurie in that great team of the seventies.
“Everyone at this football club is proud of the pioneering work they did for black footballers while wearing the Albion shirt and it is only fitting that their achievements both on and off the field are being celebrated in this manner.”
Money for ‘The Celebration’ statue will be raised via a number of projects and events during the next two years, including ‘The 1979 Club’ – an exclusive club for 500 Baggies and other football supporters to join and become involved with the project.
Other planned activities include the publication of a tribute magazine detailing the achievements of the three players which will be published in October to coincide with Black History Month.
Other events will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
To learn more, or to get involved, please call Jim Cadman on 07971 624627.