Manchester United legend Andy Cole has told talkRADIO that Cyrille Regis was his "hero," a "pioneer" and the reason he played football.
A memorial service was held at West Bromwich Albion's ground to celebrate the life of footballer Cyrille Regis who started his career at the club.
Cole, who won the Champions League at United and also starred for Arsenal and Newcastle, told talkRADIO reporter Alex Dibble: "Cyrille was the reason I wanted to play football at the level I wanted to play at.
"He was my hero, the pioneer for me, the way he conducted himself was someone that I tried to aspire to when I was playing."
Cole described Regis as a "magical man" and said it was "very, very special" when he met him.
He said: "When they introduced me to him I literally I took my hat off to him because that’s how much Cyrille meant to me."
Listen to the audio above