England football legend Cyril Regis enjoys round of golf with Kyle Lightbourne
Former professional footballers and long time friends Cyrille Regis and Kyle Lightbourne took advantage of yesterday's sunny conditions to play a casual round of golf at Belmont Hills.
And what a memorable occasion it turned out to be as ex-Coventry City striker Lightbourne made a hole in one at the par three, fourth hole to earn the praise of his famous playing partner.
“It was an incredible shot,” acknowledged former West Bromwich Albion and England striker Mr Regis. “It was the first time I have seen a hole in one, he has to buy me a drink now.”
Mr Lightbourne admitted his stroke of genius caught him by surprise.
“Cyrille will remember this day forever because this is the first hole in one he has ever witnessed and it came as a shock to me as well,” he said. “Playing golf with Cyrille Regis and getting a hole in one is a day I will definitely remember for the rest of my life. It was a memorable occasion.”
Throughout their stroll around the golf course both men reminisced about their footballing days and acknowledged each other's athletic accomplishments.
“Kyle is a good player in football and once you are a professional footballer you give any other professional footballer due respect because we know how hard it is with the pressure and the ups and downs,” said Mr Regis, who won the English FA Cup playing for Coventry City in 1987. “We have known each other over the years. We never played together but in the game of football we bumped into each other.”
Mr Lightbourne described Mr Regis as a good role model.
“Cyrille Regis is definitely one of the guys I looked up to as a youngster coming through,” he said. “He was an awesome athlete who had everything you want as a striker; pace, power, aerial ability and a good touch and movement. He also had good temperament and is a good person.”
Mr Regis is currently on the Island as a guest of the Africa Diaspora Heritage Trail Bermuda Foundation who has organised a series of lectures and events to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The International Day of Remembrance was adopted by a UN Resolution in 2007 and is observed on 25 March of each year to honour and remember the over 15 million men, women and children who were the victims of the transatlantic slave trade. The International Day, first observed in 2008, also aims at raising awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
During his whirlwind visit, Mr Regis will lecture aspiring athletes along with Mr Lightbourne and Clyde Best, who also played in the English game with West Ham United.
“Kyle, Clyde and myself are going to talk to some young aspiring athletes and footballers about what it is to be a professional and the mindset and character needed,” he explained. “We will also talk about the effects of slavery and how black people have effected the whole ambience of England, so it will be great to share my experiences.”
Mr Regis, who scored 82 goals in 237 appearances for West Bromwich Albion, will also captain a football team that will play against a Clyde Best XI at Somerset Cricket Club today in an exhibition match that will culminate the week of commemoration.