Birmingham & Black Country

Cyrille Regis inducted into football's Hall of Fame

Cyrille Regis Image copyright PA
Image caption Cyrille Regis was honoured with an MBE in 2008 for his voluntary work and football career

Pioneering footballer Cyrille Regis has been inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame.

The player's widow Julia was presented with the award by former England winger John Barnes in Birmingham.

Mrs Regis said the family was "immensely proud" of the impact the former West Bromwich Albion (WBA) player made.

Regis, who died last year aged 59, was seen as a trailblazer for black footballers and given an MBE in 2008.

He scored more than 200 goals in just under 750 appearances during a professional career that spanned two decades, before retiring from football in 1996.

Image caption The former England player was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the home of one of his former teams, Aston Villa

Regis made 297 appearances for WBA after signing for the club in 1977.

He won five England caps and also had spells playing for Coventry City, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wycombe Wanderers.

The Hall Of Fame exhibition in Manchester celebrates the achievements of those who have made an outstanding contribution to football.

Previous inductees include Sir Bobby Robson, George Best and England women's player Kelly Smith.

Tim Desmond, head of the National Football Museum, called Regis a "pioneer and role model" and said he was the first inductee in a "refreshed" exhibition that would celebrate diversity in the game.

Image caption Mr Regis's family accepted the award, presented by The National Football Museum's Tim Desmond and former player John Barnes

John Barnes said it was an honour to be presenting the award in memory of the "iconic" player who was an inspiration to so many black footballers.

"Cyrille was a superstar on so many levels but remained grounded and humble," he said.

The presentation took place at Villa Park during a mentoring event organised by the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust "Strike A Change" project.

Julia Regis, chair of the trust, said she was touched by the gesture.

She said: "Cyrille always had time for people. The tributes over the past 18 months have been so overwhelming and just go to show how much people thought about him."

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