June 23rd, 2009 by dom , 3 CommentsPrint This Post
In the late ’70s, British football club West Bromwich Albion had the most exciting team in English football… They played a trio of black players which they called the Three Degrees (named after the a female Philly vocal group); the late Laurie Cunningham, Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson. Two of the Three Degrees where Caribbean born, Regis from French Guiana and Baston from Grenada.
Although not by any means the first black footballers to play professionally in England, the Three Degrees challenged the established racism of English football and marked a watershed that allowed a generation of footballers to enter the game who would previously have been excluded by their ethnic background. A strong and fast traditional centre-forward, Regis was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1978 and earned the Goal of the Season award in 1981–82, for his powerful long-range shot against Norwich City in the FA Cup.
You may be wondering why the picture above has more than 3 black players in it. It’s a picture of Albion’s “Black” XI, essentially its all the black squad members of Albion’s 1st and reserve squad.
Check out this clip where the trio link up to mash up Man United 5-3, it’s an amazing performance. Notice how the crowd reacts to the players and the coaches commentary at the end, it’s just a testament to what these guys had to face.
Cyrille Regis’ goal of the year