Wycombe Wanderers are saddened to learn of the death of former player Cyrille Regis, at the age of just 59.
Cyrille became a fans favourite in his only season at Adams Park in 1994/95, scoring 10 times in a formidable partnership with fellow 'golden oldie' Simon Garner as Wanderers came close to a play-off finish.
Garner said: "I'm shocked and saddened to hear about Cyrille. He was the best striker I played with, a great man and I never heard a bad word said about him, from either his teammates or opposing players. Very sad day."
Steve Brown, who played alongside Cyrille in the Wycombe side that season, said: "So shocked and saddened by the death of Cyrille Regis, a great team mate who led by example. I will miss our conversations about the young players, and our regular meet ups to play golf. You were a true star."
Below is an excerpt from a programme article written by Alan Parry in 2008, telling the tale of how Cyrille arrived at Adams Park.
On a memorable night at St.Andrews in 1994,Martin O’Neill’s team defied the odds when Big Cyrille scored to silence a crowd of over 14,000 and send Barry Fry’s Birmingham crashing to defeat. Only 15 months earlier, Wycombe were still in the Vauxhall Conference and Birmingham were in Division One, just one level below the Premier League.
The Wanderers team that night included Blues legends Paul Hyde, Jason Cousins, Terry Evans, Matt Crossley, Keith Ryan and Dave Carroll. Birmingham fielded Miquel Desouza and Steve Claridge, two players who would later play for Wycombe. But it was Regis who made the headlines.
Having spent most of his career playing for Midlands clubs - including Birmingham’s arch rivals Aston Villa - it was no surprise when Cyrille described his winning goal as one of the most satisfying he’d ever scored!
It proved to be a rare setback for a Birmingham team that romped to the Division Two title, losing only one other home game in the entire season. Wanderers finished sixth, missing out on a place in the promotion play-offs by just three points.
Regis made 38 appearances for the Blues in what proved to be his only season at Adams Park, scoring 10 goals. Alongside Simon Garner – combined age over 70! – he formed a striking partnership that will never be forgotten.
I’ve yet to meet anyone in football with a bad word to say about Cyrille, who I can confidently describe as one of the nicest guys in the game, having had the pleasure of knowing him for many years. In fact, I was instrumental in him coming to Adams Park.
In those days, I worked as a commentator for Central TV in the Midlands and I’d followed Cyrille’s career with interest. He played around 300 games for West Brom, almost the same number for Coventry City and also had a couple of years in what was then the ‘new’ Premier League with Aston Villa.
With his career at the top level coming to a close, Cyrille moved on to Wolves who were only prepared to give him a one year contract. I saw him play a few times that season and always thought what a great addition he’d be to Wycombe’s squad. He’d lost some pace, but he still had great upper body strength and a superb first touch, wonderful heading ability and, of course, bags of experience.
After a televised Wolves game towards the end of that season, I had a quiet word with Cyrille to see if he’d be interested in coming to Wycombe if the opportunity arose. I was delighted when he answered ‘yes’. I was straight on the ‘phone to Martin O’Neill, but he was a bit reluctant at first because we’d already signed Simon Garner and Martin was understandably looking for a younger man to play alongside him.
A few weeks passed before Martin finally gave Cyrille a call and the rest, as they say, is history. Cyrille played a key part in establishing Wanderers as a respected club in the Football League and that winning goal at St.Andrews will always be his greatest moment in a Wycombe shirt.