West Bromwich Albion are today deeply saddened and shocked to confirm that one of our greatest players, Cyrille Regis, has passed away at the age of 59.
Cyrille, the iconic figurehead of the Club’s legendary ‘Three Degrees’ team of the late 1970s, was taken ill late last night.
Cyrille, who was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to charity and football, scored 112 goals in 302 appearances and lit up The Hawthorns with his thrilling brand of forward play.
He also became one of the great symbols of the fight against racism in Britain as a pioneer for black footballers across this nation and beyond.
Cyrille is survived by two children Robert and Michelle and three grandchildren Jayda, Renée and Riley.
The Club has been in constant touch with Cyrille’s family who have asked us to relay this statement on their behalf.
His widow, Julia, said today: “Cyrille and I were soulmates, he was the perfect man for me and we had a wonderful life together.
“He was a beautiful man and a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle.
“Losing him has turned my whole world upside down. It is a void that will never be filled.
“I have been moved by the many messages of support and condolences I have received and the kind things people have said about Cyrille as a person and a professional.
“He came into football the hard way and never lost his passion for the game. He was a role model for so many because he always treated everyone he met with kindness and respect.”
The Club will be presenting full tributes shortly, and Chairman John Williams said: “This is terribly shocking and upsetting news and our thoughts and condolences are with Cyrille’s family.
“We also know Cyrille’s passing will be felt deeply among all our supporters for whom he was the ultimate hero - a wonderful, exciting centre-forward who remained in close contact with the Club beyond his playing days.
“Everyone will have their precious memories of him as a family man, as a crusader against bigotry - which can never be emphasised enough - and as a man who threw considerable energy into a series of worthy causes.
“But for me, I will never forget Cyrille the footballer - a wonderful, wonderful player who had everything and who defenders of the time would have hated facing.
“He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Cyrille.”
The Club will be making further announcements about its plans to celebrate the life of one of Albion's all-time greats in due course.