Cyrille Regis, the former West Brom and England forward, has died aged 59.
Regis was a pioneer for black footballers in the game when he played alongside Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at The Hawthorns.
Regis scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for West Bromwich Albion and won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award in 1978/1979.
PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor paid tribute to Regis: “Cyrille was a true legend and great pioneer for equality.
“A former PFA Young Player of The Year and real gentleman who will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this sad time.”
Regis joined Coventry City for £250,000 in 1984 and went on to score 62 goals in 274 appearances for the Sky Blues and was a crucial part of their FA Cup-winning side in 1987.
He won five caps for England and went onto play for Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester City before retiring from football in October 1996.
Regis was appointed an MBE in 2008, returned to West Brom as a coach before becoming a football agent.
Former players have been paying their tributes to an inspirational centre-forward:
What a man. What a centre-forward! One of my earliest football memories was walking into WBA for a trial as a 13 year old kid, seeing Cyrille Regis and being in awe of him. RIP big man 😢— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) January 15, 2018
Devastated this morning my hero my pioneer the man behind the reason I wanted to play football has passed away 😢 my heart goes out to all his family RIP Cyrille Regis pic.twitter.com/145idFZopb— Andrew Cole (@vancole9) January 15, 2018
Heavy heart this morning, just heard that Cyrille Regis has passed away age 59. He was more than just a footballer, he blazed a trail for every black player who followed him, an inspiration to myself and many players of my era. A humble man and a great man.#RIPC— Brighty (@Mark__Bright) January 15, 2018