Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr Biography » Cyrille Regis Biography - Became A Professional Soccer Player, Built An Impressive Record, Enjoyed A Twenty-year Career

Cyrille Regis - Built An Impressive Record

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Regis's competitive mindset ensured that he put in many impressive performances at WBA and he became a favorite of the fans, who called him "Smokin' Joe." Having scored on his professional debut he went on to score 82 goals for the team in 237 league appearances, including 25 in the 1981-82 season alone. But by 1984 the exciting WBA side of the late 1970s had broken up. Cunningham left for Real Madrid in 1979, manager Atkinson departed for Manchester United in 1981 and then bought key players Bryan Robson and Remi Moses from WBA in 1982 for a record £2.5 million. Regis himself transferred to Coventry City in 1984, where he spent the next seven years, and where he won his only major medal as part of the FA Cup-winning team of 1987 when they beat his childhood team Tottenham Hotspur 3-2. By then Regis was a popular and well-respected player. His playing style was that of a typical English center forward: physical, courageous, and able to score goals on the slightest of chances. In particular he was renowned for his spectacular long-range shots.

At a Glance...

Born Cyrille Regis on February 9, 1958, in Maripasoula, French Guyana; married 1983 (divorced); children: Robert, Michelle. Religion: Catholic.

Career: Hayes Football Club, amateur soccer player, 1975-77; West Bromwich Albion Football Club, professional soccer player, 1977-84; Coventry City Football Club, professional soccer player, 1984-91; Aston Villa Football Club, professional soccer player, 1991-93; Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, professional soccer player, 1993-94; Wycombe Wanderers Football Club, professional soccer player, 1994-95; Chester Football Club, professional soccer player, 1995-96; West Bromwich Albion, reserve team coach, 1996-99; First Artist Corporation, football agent, 1999-2004; Stellar Group, football agent, 2004–.

Memberships: Professional Footballers' Association; Christians in Sport.

Awards: Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Young Player of the Year, 1978; FA Cup Winner's Medal, with Coventry City, 1987; played for England's main team five times.

Addresses: Office—The Stellar Group Limited, 16 Stanhope Place, London W2 2HH, United Kingdom.

Regis told CBB that in many ways he had a fairytale career. Starting out as a teenage hopeful, being spotted by a first division team, playing for England, and winning the FA Cup is the romantic backdrop to the dreams of many English boys. But he was at pains to point out that apart from hard work and talent his career benefited from a great deal of luck. And there were setbacks too. The problem of racism on the pitch was one, but Regis also described the problems that came with sudden wealth and fame at a young age. Then in 1988 his close friend Laurie Cunningham, with whom he had shared the experience of starting out in big-time soccer, was killed in a car accident in Spain, at age 33. Regis had been involved in a similar accident with Cunningham two years earlier and the pair had walked away unscathed. He told CBB that he and Cunningham had become "famous together and rich together" so Cunningham's sudden death made him reappraise his approach to life. It was shortly after this event that he became a Christian, and he remains a member of the organization Christians in Sport.

Regis's career at Coventry ended when he was bought in 1991 by Ron Atkinson who was then manager of another midlands team, Aston Villa. But his stay at Aston Villa was short; he moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1993, then after a year and just 19 games he went to Wycombe Wanderers, where he became the club's oldest player to appear in a senior game at the age of 37 years and 86 days. His playing career ended with injury in 1996 while playing for Chester City.

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