Brent Council has been urged to pay a fitting tribute to former England footballer Cyrille Regis following his unexpected death at the age of 59 .
He was regarded as a pioneer and trailblazer for black footballers in the 1970s, when he played alongside Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson for West Bromwich Albion.
The striker grew up in Stonebridge and attended Kensal Rise Primary School and, later, Cardinal Hinsley RC Secondary School in Harlesden.
He played for Hayes FC in the 1976/77 season and scored 24 goals in 61 appearances before being signed by West Brom for £5,000 in May 1977.
Following his death, Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt paid tribute.
He said: " Cyrille was a not only a fantastic talent, but a pioneer in helping football tackle the racial abuse of its players, something that he himself suffered while playing back in the seventies.
“He was a Stonebridge lad who returned to Brent to lift the FA Cup at Wembley and represent England, later collecting an MBE for services to charity and football.
“His passing at the age of 59 is both a huge shock and a very sad loss and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
On Twitter Dean Sinclair called on the council to do something to remember "Harlesden's own Cyrille Regis?".
He wrote: "He was more then a footballer, he was pioneer, he deserves acknowledgment in the community."
Lorraine King agreed. She wrote: "I agree there should be some sort of tribute to him. He was such a fantastic role model.
"Seems lots of my mates grew up with him on the Stonebridge Estate as they have been paying tribute to him on FB."
On Facebook, further tributes were left for the talented footballer. Winston Jean-Charles wrote: "R.I.P. To Cyrille Regis. A man who I went to the same school as.
"He was leaving when I was just starting. WHAT AN INSPIRATION HE WAS TO US YOUNGSTERS in my manner (Harlesden/Wembley) at the time.
"Cyrille played for Coventry City and West Brom, he also was one of a few black footballers to play for England and we all were sooo PROUD of Mr Regis!
"GENTLEMAN. R.I.P. Thank you BRO!!!"
Regis was capped five ties for England and went on to help Coventry City win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium - close to where he grew up - in 1987.
In 2008 he was appointed an MBE for services to the voluntary sector and football.
Regis, Cunningham and Batson plied their trade in the 1970s when racism on the terrace was widespread.
They were subjected to monkey chants, had bananas thrown at them and booed by opposition fans.
Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation. It said in a statement: “Kick It Out is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of former West Bromwich Albion forward Cyrille Regis at the age of 59.
“Cyrille was a pioneer of English football, becoming one of the first iconic Black players of the professional game, alongside former Albion team-mates Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson.
“Following his career, Cyrille was a great supporter of the organisation’s work helping to tackle racism in the sport, kindly donating his time and efforts to Kick It Out on numerous occasions.”
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