'Cyrille Regis didn't try and fight crusades, he just was who he was', says manager Ron Atkinson

'Cyrille Regis didn't try and fight crusades, he just was who he was', says manager Ron Atkinson

Fans paid tribute to Cyrille Regis at West Brom

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Former football manager Ron Atkinson believes Cyrille Regis didn't go out of his way to "fight any crusades - he just did it by being what he was."

A memorial service has been held at West Bromwich Albion's ground to celebrate the life of Regis who started his career at the club. Many have credited him for inspiring black football players. 

Ron Atkinson managed Regis when he played both at West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa. He told talkRADIO reporter Alex Dibble: "He didn’t go out of his way to, if you like, fight any crusades. He just did it by being what he was."

He thinks he was "a phenomenal footballer and an even better bloke" who was "great to work with" and "should have got a lot more caps than he got."

He revealed the only "the only altercation I had with him was when he put a polo neck on and didn’t wear a collar and tie for the first game.

"I said 'big man, proper players wear collars and ties for away games'," and after that there was "no problem" ever again. 

Atkinson added: "From a football point of view, and I’ve been lucky I’ve had some terrific front players, he would always, if I was picking my best ever team, he would always be my number 9."

Listen to the audio above