Monday, January 15, 2018

RIP Cyrille

Many words have been written today about the sad, early death of footballer Cyrille Regis. I won't add much. My memory of seeing him play is of a man who saw football as a simple game. Push the ball past your opponent and then run faster than him. If he caught up with you don't fall over; make him do so.

He was one of the few players to command the respect of four local-rival Midlands teams - Wolves, West Brom, Coventry and Villa. Although I think us Baggies got the best years of his career.

My one anecdote that others may not know is this. About fifteen years ago Cyrille played in a charity match between a Coventry All-Stars team and Leamington FC. Our diminutive, but nippy full-back, nutmegged Cyrille and ran off down the wing.

Returning to his position Cyrille wandered over to little Johnny Burgess and said, 'You only get to do that once son, alright?'

For a polite and gentle giant it was said in the single most menacing way I have ever heard something that wasn't an actual threat issued at a game. Johnny did not do it again. I have no idea what would have happened if he had. It reminded me a little of a parent saying 'I'm going to count to three...' You never let them get there.

RIP Big Cyrille. Thanks for the memories.

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