Cyrille Regis MBE’s trailblazing career has received further recognition as he was inducted into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame.
The prestigious Hall of Fame Award was presented to Cyrille’s wife Julia and his brother Dave on Saturday by former England and Liverpool winger John Barnes, a previous inductee into the Hall of Fame.
The presentation at Villa Park, home to one of the four midlands clubs Cyrille represented, fittingly took place during a ‘Strike A Change’ event, the flagship mentoring programme of the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust.
The charity was officially launched in the striker’s memory by members of his family in July at The Hawthorns, where Cyrille, alongside Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham, became a pioneer for black footballers playing for Albion in the ’70s.
The Hall of Fame Awards, supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association, celebrate the achievements of those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game, either on or off the pitch.
National Football Museum Chief Executive Tim Desmond, said: “Cyrille is the first inductee for our refreshed Hall of Fame which aims to recognise a wider diversity of those special football people who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of our lives.
"Cyrille was a pioneer and role model and it is fitting he is our first new inductee.
“We’re delighted Julia and Dave accepted the Hall of Fame Award on Cyrille’s behalf as members of the Regis family ensure Cyrille’s memory, and the community work that was close to his heart, lives on through the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust.”
Cyrille’s induction, which poignantly took place during the nationwide Black History Month celebration, kicks off a longer-term partnership between the National Football Museum and the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust.
Barnes roomed with Cyrille as England Under-21 team-mates and was on the field when he won his final senior cap as a substitute against Turkey in 1987.
“It was an honour and a privilege to present this award to Julia and Dave in memory of such an iconic footballer who was an inspiration to so many black players,” he said.
“Cyrille was a superstar on so many levels but remained grounded and humble.”
Cyrille, awarded an MBE in 2008 for his services to charity and football, scored more than 200 goals in just under 750 appearances during a professional career spanning two decades.
After being snapped up from non-league Hayes, he went on to become one of Albion’s greatest players before spells with Coventry City, where he won the 1987 FA Cup, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester City.
Renowned for his powerful displays and spectacular goals, he was capped five times by the Three Lions. Cyrille passed away suddenly in January 2018. He was 59.
Julia, chair of the Trust, said: “Cyrille being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a lovely gesture by the National Football Museum. As a family, we remain immensely proud of the impact he made on the game both on and off the field.
“Cyrille’s legacy lives on and it was great that many of the young people he continues to inspire were present at the induction.”