Cyrille Regis, the pioneering former West Bromwich Albion and England striker, has died at the age of 59, according to the Professional Footballers’ Association.
What was Cyrille Regis’ cause of death? How did the former striker die? Regis died of cardiac arrest, the Guardian reports, noting that he was “a pioneer for black footballers in the 1970s.” CNN also indicated that Regis was reported to have died from a heart attack.
According to the West Bromwich Albion Club, Regis “was taken ill late last night” on January 14, 2018. The club called him “one of the great symbols of the fight against racism in Britain,” and noted that he was survived by children Robert and Michelle and three grandchildren Jayda, Renée and Riley.
The PFA was one of many to release tributes to Regis as news of his death spread. “Terribly sad news this morning that footballing pioneer Cyrille Regis has died aged 59,” the organization wrote on Twitter. “A true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed. Our sympathies to his family and friends.”
On its website, the Hawthorne Club wrote, “West Bromwich Albion are today deeply saddened and shocked to confirm that one of our greatest players, Cyrille Regis, has passed away. He was the iconic figurehead of the club’s legendary ‘Three Degrees’ team of the late 1970s, was taken ill late last night. Cyrille lit up the Hawthorns with his thrilling brand of forward play.”
The club continued: “He also became one of the great symbols of the fight against racism in Britain as a pioneer for black footballers across this nation and beyond. Cyrille is survived by two children Robert and Michelle and three grandchildren Jayda, Renée and Riley. The club will be making further announcements about its plans to celebrate the life of one of Albion’s all-time greats in due course.”
He was married to Julie, who released a statement through the club, which said in part, “Cyrille and I were soulmates, he was the perfect man for me and we had a wonderful life together. He was a beautiful man and a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. Losing him has turned my whole world upside down. It is a void that will never be filled. I have been moved by the many messages of support and condolences I have received and the kind things people have said about Cyrille as a person and a professional.”
According to CNN, Regis “represented the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City and Aston Villa over the course of a 20-year playing career that began in the 1970s. He was also capped five times by England between 1982 and 1987.”
The Sun described how Cyrille left behind his heartbroken wife, Julie, reporting, “He spoke in the past about his womanising, but found security and a second love with Julia. She often joined him on visits to water-related projects in Ethiopia. The pair had a long-standing support for WaterAid.” Julie was Cyrille Regis’ second wife, and The Sun said she was credited with bringing stability into his life.