Anger over tribute snub to Cyrille Regis by football chiefs
Football chiefs are under increasing pressure to honour legend Cyrille Regis this weekend – after telling the Express & Star there would be no league-wide tribute to the former striker.
Premier League and English Football League said individual clubs will instead be left to decide whether to honour the iconic player, who died in the early hours of Monday from a suspected heart attack, aged 59.
That provoked an angry response from Regis’s former England team-mate Viv Anderson who labelled the decision ‘small-minded’.
Anderson, the first black player to play for England, said: “I would personally like to see him receive a nationwide tribute, because of the ground-breaking impact he had on the game.
“His life and career should be properly recognised. I am bit disappointed that won’t be the case. It seems small-minded.
“Cyrille led the way for many black players and he was taken so suddenly.
“He was still involved in the game, scouting and advising young talent.”
Tributes have poured in from across the footballing world and beyond for the former Albion, Villa and Wolves star who was credited with helping break down the racial barriers of the 1970s and 80s and forging a path for young black footballers into the game.
Everton will stage a minute’s applause ahead of their match against Albion at Goodison Park tomorrow with Villa doing the same ahead of their home match against Barnsley.
Albion are also planning a major celebration of Regis’s life at their next home game against Southampton on February 3.
Baggies head coach Alan Pardew played against Regis when they were both non-league footballers, and he paid further tribute to him.
“What’s come out since the sad passing of him has been the love for him,” he said.
“I think that’s been genuine. You see that fellow players and people who have been around him.
“I’ve come into contact with him many times.
“Once when he was a young player at Hayes I played against him. I was only a young boy so I followed his career. He broke in, like myself, through the non-league system.
“When players do that you’ve got a kinship with them. Particularly when they do so great. He was a brilliant player.
“If you wanted to mould a player from the past who would be perfect for today’s game and generation it would be Cyrille.”