Birmingham & Black Country

Cyrille Regis charity launches mentoring project

Image caption The mentoring initiative was launched at West Brom ground The Hawthorns

A charity set up in memory of footballer Cyrille Regis has launched a mentoring scheme for young people.

West Bromwich Albion - the club with which Regis was most closely associated - said his family had been working to develop projects close to his heart.

His widow, Julia Regis, said mentoring was "such a passion" of her husband who died in 2018 aged 59.

Speaking at the launch on Thursday, she said: "It was the part of his job as an agent that he loved the most.

"So we thought what better way... to start the charity [than] a mentoring scheme."

Image caption Julia Regis, pictured at the launch with Cyrille's brother David, said she would like to see children "inspired"

Regis is widely credited with inspiring a generation of black players while playing for Albion alongside Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham in the 1970s.

He also played for Coventry City and Aston Villa.

Six West Midlands clubs - Albion, Wolves, Villa, Birmingham City, Walsall and Coventry - are involved with The Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust.

Image caption Cyrille Regis was capped five times by England

The trust says it strives to create and support mentoring initiatives that "help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their social and economic circumstances".

Under the programme, club foundations are each set to identify 12 to 15 young people who are passionate about football but disengaged in other areas, the charity says.

Mrs Regis said: "I would like to see them dream big to believe in themselves and understand that they can achieve what they put their mind to achieve. I would like to see them inspired and to grow as individuals."

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