Football star Brendan Batson joins Sheffield tribute to Cyrille Regis

John Hendrie in action for the Leeds United Legends against Cyrille Regis of the Sheffield Wednesday Legends at the Jane Tomlinson charity match held at Belle Vue, Wakefield in March 2003
John Hendrie in action for the Leeds United Legends against Cyrille Regis of the Sheffield Wednesday Legends at the Jane Tomlinson charity match held at Belle Vue, Wakefield in March 2003

An event celebrating the inspirational black footballer Cyrille Regis - who fought racism and helped change football - is to be addressed by his friend and fellow ‘Three Degree’ Brendon Batson.

Football Unites, Racism Divides and Stand Up To Racism are jointly organising a tribute to former West Bromwich Albion and Coventry striker Cyrille Regis with an anti-racist event in Sheffield on Sunday, February 24 - the day after the Albion meet Sheffield United at The Hawthorns - and just over a year since his untimely death.

A postcard of a Sheffield anti-racist groups' celebration of black football star Cyrille Regis

A postcard of a Sheffield anti-racist groups' celebration of black football star Cyrille Regis

The Only One Cyrille Regis event looks at what football was like for black players in the 1970s and 80s, and how the courage and determination of Cyrille Regis and his contemporaries changed not just football but society itself.

Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendan Batson, dubbed the Three Degrees, were the first trio of black players at a top-flight club and they endured and oposed racism from the terraces.

Phil Turner from Stand Up to Racism said: “The recent worrying increase in racist incidents in both professional and grassroots football, partly fuelled by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, has made this history even more important to remember and learn from.”
The event, taking place at the U-Mix Centre off Bramall Lane, will kick off at 2pm with three football tournaments - for young people, women and a seniors competition.

Confirmed speakers are Brendon Batson, Paul Rees, author of a book called The Three Degrees, Chris Green, co-author of Cyrille's biography My Story, and Steven Kay, author of a novel based on the life of Sheffield United player Rab Howell, the first Romany to play for England.

To find out more, contact Howard Holmes on 0114 258 7787 or on 07973 414 722 or email howard@furd.org or phil.turner22@btinternet.com