Exhibition celebrates role of black footballer in the ’70s

Cyrille Regis and Danny Sapani at the exhibition Pic: Peter Tarry

Cyrille Regis and Danny Sapani at the exhibition Pic: Peter Tarry - Credit: Peter Tarry

Football legend Cyrille Regis and Trance actor Danny Sapani were among the guests at an exhibition dedicated to Laurie Cunningham – the Finsbury Park winger who became the first black man to represent England.

Laurie, who was born in the Whittington Hospital in 1956, played for West Bromwich Albion where he was known, along with Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson, as one of The Three Degrees – a glamorous trio of black footballers who stood out in an era of explicit racism in English football. In 1979 he became the first Englishman to sign for Spanish giant Real Madrid. He died in the Spanish capital in 1989 in a car crash, aged 33.

Dermot Kavanagh, who organised the event, said: “I hope it leads to a more permanent exhibition next year, the 25th anniversary of Laurie’s death. I would like to hear from anybody who knew Laurie and can be emailed at hilandderm@tiscali.co.uk.”

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