Cyrille Regis, the West Brom and Coventry legend who blazed a trail for black players in the UK, has died aged 59 after suffering a heart attack.
The former striker, a pioneer for black footballers when he played alongside Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at The Hawthorns, died on Sunday night.
Regis started his career at the Hawthorns, going on to make 241 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 81 goals.
In the late 1970s, the trio of Regis, Cunningham and Batson – who were nicknamed the Three Degrees by their then-manager Ron Atkinson – were subjected to racist abuse.
The Celebration, a statue in their honour, was unveiled at West Bromwich in 2014.
Regis, a French Guiana-born forward, also won five caps for England between 1977-1984.
He moved to Coventry that same year, netting 47 times in seven seasons at Highfield Road.
Regis also played for Aston Villa and Wolves before retiring in 1996 after leaving Chester City.
In 2004 Regis was voted as West Bromwich Albion’s all time Cult Hero in a BBC Sport poll, gaining 65% of the vote.
In the same year he was named as one of West Bromwich Albion’s 16 greatest players, in a poll organised as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
The Professional Footballers’ Association announced the news on Monday morning and wrote in a tweet from its official account: “A true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed. Our sympathies to his family and friends.”