"Rest in peace my eternal beloved": Julia Regis fights back the tears as she delivers emotional eulogy for husband Cyrille

Julia Regis has paid tribute to her husband Cyrille in an emotional eulogy at his memorial service.

Julia Regis attending today's service at The Hawthorns in honour of her husband, football legend Cyrille, inset
Julia Regis attending today's service at The Hawthorns in honour of her husband, football legend Cyrille, inset

Mrs Regis fought back the tears and delivered a poignant speech in memory of her husband, who was being honoured at a special memorial service.

WATCH her eulogy during the service at The Hawthorns

She told friends, family and fans at The Hawthorns this afternoon: "My loving caring amazing husband Cyrille Regis was born on Feb 9 1958 and left French Guyana where he was born to come to the UK in 1963.

"I am grateful his parents brought him here or I wouldn’t have had the absolute privilege of spending the most wonderful 11 years of my life married to this great man.

Julia Regis reads her eulogy

"Just to write a eulogy was hard because I’ve not still fully come to terms with the fact I won’t see his infectious smile again.

"Cyrille’s life was not ordinary so what I will say will cover some of the the history of his life but also celebrate his legacy.

"All of you will know at least something about his achievements in football - making his name here with WBA as well as his time at other clubs including Coventry City, Aston Villa, Wolves and Chester.

"Intertwined within his career, Cyrille became a father to Robert and Michelle and they in turn made him a grandfather. Cyrille adored his family - his children and grandchildren brought such great joy to his life and he was immensely proud of them.

"When he was speaking about them the very tone of his voice would change, his eyes would light up. It was so heartwarming to see and hear him with his children and grandchildren.

"I always love you and will always be here for you all."

"When I first met Cyrille I hadn’t quite understood how well loved he was by everyone, as football wasn’t a sport I followed that well. As I got to know him I was enamoured with just how humble and grounded he was.

"Cyrille treated everyone like they were the most important person he had met. He had the unique ability of making people feel so special.

Julia Regis

"Regardless of who they were he made time for everyone including his many fans, many of whom are kind enough to be with us today.

"After leaving school Cyrille set about building a life for himself and trained as an electrician. He would always tell people he was a sparky which would force me to raise an eyebrow because DIY at home was definitely not his forte.

"During his time he played Sunday League football until 1975 when he was spotted playing non-league football by a scout. He only took that one interaction and it snowballed into what would become a legendary career.

"Cyrille was always motivated and wanted to be the best he could be. Of the 1987 FA cup win he said there’s no better feeling in football than carrying off the cup. And the biggest in English football is the FA Cup. In 1987 with Coventry City it was my time.

"You will all have heard of the racist taunts that Cyrille had to face along with many others.

"As with every challenge in life Cyrille overcame it and went on to win five caps with England."

"Still passionate about seeing young talent develop, Cyrille later became a football agent and over 15 years worked with the Stellar Group to help many players develop their careers.

Cyrille loved the mentoring side and he was brilliant at it - I would often listen to him talking to young players and was in awe of the wisdom he shared and the passion with which he spoke. In fact I often found myself quoting things I heard him saying in my own conversations with others, such was the impact of his words.

Julia Regis fights back the tears

"His career afforded him many great opportunities to make a difference but it was through his faith and community work he was able to make a direct impact on the lives of others. Cyrille loved God and made sure wherever he went everybody knew how Jesus had changed his life.

"The heart he had to give and serve is evidenced by his charitable work and work in the community. He and I were ambassadors for Water Aid and he was a trustee at Christians in Sport and founder member/trustee of the Jason Roberts Foundation.

"Working with young people was another of his passions and he could captivate a young audience and inspire the to dream big and work hard to pursue a dream. One of his favourite sayings was your talent can get you there but it’s your character that will keep you there.

"Simply put he was selfless and saw it as his duty to utilise his profile to encourage and empower others."

"Even now in his death I’m immensely proud of him. I’m proud of his legacy but mostly proud to have shared my life with a man of such integrity and character.

"Cyrille’s sense of community came from his upbringing - being one of five children helped him to learn his caring nature.

Julia Regis reads out her eulogy

"Family meant everything to him and he was incredibly close to his siblings - you meant the world to him. I remember a day he came home after playing a charity football game. I had to go to the nearest pub and ask for a bucket of ice.

"This is it, he said = I’m hanging up my boots for good. But his competitive nature meant he still wanted to be involved in sport and engage in banter and rivalry and that’s when he took up golf and persuaded me to join him.

"Whenever we went away we always played golf, Cyrille would always want to have a little wager to who would win or lose - you’ve already heard about his competitive nature.

"Yet somehow he managed to dodge flamenco dance lesson I asked for after a win. I will treasure those memories and his advice on the many occasions when I had a poor round.

"‘Talent is permanent, form is temporary,’ he would say - ‘dig deep’."

"His wisdom and encouragement have so often guided me. Like so many family and friends I will miss him terribly.

"Our family would like to thank each and every one of you for your support. There are so many people I would like to thank – too many to mention.

Julia Regis belts a hymn out

"However, I must thank Cameron, Laura and their team, the paramedics who came over on that tragic night. You were amazing and showed such sensitivity.

"To Nick and Jaqui our neighbours who assisted that evening I’m so grateful to you. To the team here at West Bromwich, the Stellar Group and the team at the Governance forum. This day would not have come together without you.

"Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this celebration of Cyrille’s life. Robert, Michelle and I are so very grateful.

"Cyrille’s legacy will live on and I’m sure with each passing year we’ll be able to understand the level of impact this great man has had.

"I feel tremendously privileged to have spent part of his journey with him.

"Rest in eternal peace my beloved, I’ll love you forever."

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