The Premier League will mark the death of Cyrille Regis with a minute of applause and the wearing of black armbands at this weekend’s matches.
The former West Brom, Coventry and Villa star, who also played five times for England, died on Sunday of a suspected heart attack at the age of 59.
Strong, fast and blessed with a powerful shot, Regis was a superb striker but, perhaps more importantly, a pioneer for black players at a time when overt racism was still commonplace in the game.
His death came as a huge shock to his many friends and admirers, and there has been considerable criticism in the last few days of the football authorities’ failure to arrange a fitting tribute this weekend.
Prior to the Premier League’s announcement on Friday morning, the only plans were for armbands and a minute’s applause before West Brom’s game at Everton and applause before Villa’s game against Barnsley and Coventry’s against Swindon.
But in a statement, the Premier League said it “recognises the important career of Cyrille Regis, and his special role as a trailblazer for black players in modern English football”.
It added: “The League embraces requests from clubs and stakeholders to celebrate the lives of people who have made a unique contribution to the sport.”