Former West Brom and Coventry forward Cyrille Regis has sadly passed away at the age of just 59.
Regis won five caps for England between 1982 and 1987, having been one of the stars of the Baggies team between 1977 and 1984.
He scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for Albion before moving on to Coventry, winning the FA Cup with the Sky Blues in 1987.
The Professional Footballers’ Association announced the news on Monday morning and wrote in a tweet from its official account: “A true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed. Our sympathies to his family and friends.”
Regis was born in French Guiana in February 1958 but moved to London with his family at the age of five.
He did not come through the youth ranks with a professional club and was instead spotted playing Sunday morning football by the chairman of Surrey non-league club Molesey.
West Brom signed him for £5,000 in May 1977 and he made a spectacular start, scoring twice in a League Cup tie against Rotherham in September of that year.
Along with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson, who joined Albion in 1978, the trio of black players were nicknamed ‘The Three Degrees’.
He was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year for 1978.
Regis represented England at under-21 level and won his first senior cap in February 1982 against Northern Ireland.
His final cap came against Turkey in October 1987.
After his stint at Coventry he also played for Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester before ending his playing career in 1996.
He worked as an agent for the Stellar Group after his retirement from the game, and the agency’s chief executive Jonathan Barnett released a statement to Press Association Sport on Monday.
“Cyrille was a wonderful person to work with and his death has left everyone in the company and the players he represented with a great sense of sadness,” Barnett said.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Julia and all of Cyrille’s family and close friends.
“Cyrille was a pioneer in British football and hugely respected by everyone in the game. He was a role model to his young clients and a genuinely lovely man.”
The statement from Stellar also praised Regis for his “passion, determination and integrity, especially in the way he would champion the careers of up and coming players”.