In the modern game it is so easy to criticise and accuse football clubs for being out of touch with their fans and only concerned with revenue streams and all things cash related. However I have to say a massive well done to West Bromwich Albion’s media team, led by Martin Swain, for their sensitive handling and classy organisation of the Cyrille Regis service and the emotional and fitting tribute paid to him prior to the home game against Southampton. It simply could not have been bettered.
The service at the Hawthorns on Tuesday 30th of January was extremely emotional and yes I am not ashamed to admit I shed a tear or two as the 5000 attendees burst into “there’s only one Cyrille Regis”. I was captivated as I listened to the wonderful tributes paid to the great man by his wife Julia, Brother Dave, Nephew Jason, son and daughter Robert and Michelle, John Homer, John Sillett, Brendan Batson and others.
It was a who’s who of the football world as players from all over paid came to pay their respects to a man who’s untimely death has left the world of football a much lesser place. It was an honour and privilege to be there to also pay my respects to a man who always made me and others feel as we were his best pal.
I was not at the Southampton game but watched and listened to what was happening and it came across as an emotional day-a day for the Baggies supporters to pay their respects at the side of the pitch he graced so magnificently.
Finally a special mention to the programme editor Dave Bowler who not only excelled himself with the Southampton match-day magazine which was full of tributes and pictures but also with the wonderful poignant words he wrote about Big Cyrille.
Take a bow West Bromwich Albion you showed great class in a game that so often doesn’t.