We still need heroes like Cyrille
18 January, 2018 — By John Gulliver
CYRILLE Regis, who died this week, was not only a great footballer and a role model for black kids, he was also a true gentleman.
When he and Laurie Cunningham burst into top football in the 1970s, I confess now I became their groupie with my son – and followed their team West Bromwich. I saw them play at West Brom, Arsenal – and at West Ham where, out of solidarity, I stood in the crowds shouting against the “monkey” chants by fans throwing bananas onto the field.
A few years ago I met Cyrille at a pub in Somers Town and he was polite and quiet, the opposite of the dynamic force he was on the field. Legislation against racism is necessary, but you need heroic figures like Cyrille to change the culture.