Leading figures from the world of football were at The Hawthorns on Thursday to celebrate the official launch of the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust.
Les Ferdinand joined former players and members of the Regis family to mark the start of an exciting journey for the fledgling charity, unveiling ‘Strike a Change’, the Trust’s flagship mentoring scheme.
The community trusts and foundations from all six West Midlands clubs came together for a series of workshops, with local heroes sharing their knowledge and wisdom with more than 100 young people.
Mentoring youngsters from a difficult life environment was a pivotal part of Cyrille’s life and the Legacy Trust has pledged to continue this influential work in the football world, local community and beyond.
They begin a two-year programme to support 14 and 15-year-old students with a passion for football who are disengaged in school or their local community, with the scheme presenting a unique opportunity to work across geographical boundaries and club rivalries.
As the youngsters explored major issues such as Equality, Mental Health and Social Responsibility, Ferdinand highlighted the importance of the programme in today’s world.
“I didn’t realise I could have a career in football until I saw Cyrille,” he said.
“That’s the impact this kind of scheme can have.
“To see this programme coming to fruition is exactly what modern football needs.
“There’s now a huge opportunity in front of these young people.
“I’m sure they’ll grasp it and make it count.”