Remembering Cyrille Regis

Cyrille Regis

20th January 2023

On the evening of Friday 20th January a crowd gathered at Bridgestone Arena, the home of JRF, to remember the late, great, Cyrille Regis, as part of the Foundation’s Inspire to Achieve Heritage Project.

BBC Radio presenter and former One Show Host Adrian Chiles opened the evening and West Brom fans who remember Cyrille’s debut season in 1978, joined the 150 strong audience.

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, the Inspire to Achieve Heritage Project uncovered the Histories of the Footballers who Paved the Way in the borough of Brent, and the evening’s event focused on one of the true trailblazers who overcame racism and bigotry to inspire a generation.

JRF’s Media Manager Michael Adams hosted the evening, showing a video highlighting the great achievements of Cyrille during his professional career, as well as his charity work off the pitch. A Q&A discussion followed with many touching tributes shared by the audience about the impact Cyrille had on them, from how he tackled the racial abuse he endured, and why so many Brent residents are West Brom supporters.

Children with physical and learning disabilities who were involved in the Inspire to Achieve Heritage project, presented their research projects on the history of Cyrille’s professional career as well as his cultural heritage.

Patricia Lichst and Alex White from The National Lottery Heritage Fund were invited to attend, and they engaged with the community and took part in the creative workshop ran by Simon from ‘Blingwear’ for local children and young people to express how they wanted to remember Cyrille, later taking to the stage to share their thoughts on the JRF project.

The audience learned more about Cyrille’s connection to Maripasoula, French Guiana where he was born. He followed his father to England at a young age, and was playing football with non-league Hayes when he was spotted by West Bromwich Albion chief scout (and former centre-forward) Ronnie Allen. A film is currently in production about Cyrille’s family.

One clear message from the night was that although Cyrille has sadly passed away, his legacy lives on in the memories of past, present, and future generations.

Health Matters to JRF

Adults playing table tennis

On Sunday 29th January from 12:00 – 5:00 pm the JRF Team are hosting a community Health & Wellbeing Day to celebrate and promote the launch of their ‘Our Time Zone’ project, a multi-sport, social, and health club for adults, funded by You Decide Brent Health Matters.

The free to attend event being held at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 8PL, the home of the Foundation over the last 15-years, will give attendees the opportunity to speak with a range of professionals and experts in their field about health-related issues that can affect our everyday lives.

When the Foundation first launched in 2007 the focus was very much on sport for development for children and young people. However, over the years JRF’s work has evolved to encompass all generations, concentrating on health and wellbeing family interventions, and intergenerational community projects and events, collaborating with local voluntary, public, and private sector organisations, and funding bodies to achieve their objective of ‘community first’.

The ‘Our Time Zone’ project was supported by members of the local community when they were asked to vote for their favourite projects under Brent Council’s new You Decide community grants programme initiative.

The Club will offer adults a range of sports, games, and activities to suit all ages and abilities on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings including a Walking Club, Walking Football, Table Tennis, Boxing/Sparring, Badminton, Golf, Pool, Chair exercises, Yoga, Book Club, board games, and refreshments.

On Sundays there will be ‘Let’s Talk Health’ information sessions through local health and support services including Diabetes, Prostrate & Breast Cancer Awareness, Heart Health, NHS Cessation services, Mental Health & Bereavement, Vaccination (including Covid-19) and Screening Services, Nutrition Advice, and signposting to other local services. Throughout the project there will also be community events and Walking Football Tournaments held on Sundays.

‘Meet your Local GP’ sessions will give participants not already registered with a GP surgery the opportunity to do so as well as benefit from On-Site Health Checks including Blood Pressure, cholesterol, weight/BMI, and skin checks.

The ‘Our Time Zone’ club will give adults the opportunity to come together socially in a community setting and enjoy a range of activities.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said, “We have been hoping to provide this type of service to adults in the community, and the funding through You Decide Brent Health Matters has given us the opportunity to deliver the ‘Our Time Zone’ project. After the curbs put on our social interaction due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we know how important it is for children, young people, and adults alike to have the chance to come together socially, and enjoy activities to enhance their health, fitness, and general wellbeing.”

For more information regarding this and other JRF projects please contact

What is Brent Health Matters?

The goal of the Brent Health Matters Programme is to reduce health inequalities in Brent.

Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people.

Our shared programme will be looking to engage with the community on a number of wide-ranging issues to reduce the health inequalities experienced in Brent.

In the 2022-2023 Grants round Brent Council launched the You Decide initiative where shortlisted applications from registered organisations eligible to apply, were put to the public vote.

Real Talk – Passport to Success

Learning camera skills from a professional

On Friday 25th November the JRF Team opened the doors at Bridgestone Arena for the third networking session of their new Real Talk – Passport to Success Programme, delivered in partnership with Young Brent Foundation, and One Flow One Brent.

Young people who are considering GCSE and A Level options and career pathways, are invited to attend the monthly employment pathways and networking sessions.

The latest session offered young people attending, the chance to hear from guest speakers, and meet representatives from a host of industries including HydeMetropolitan Thames Valley, Transport for London, Wates, and the Shaw Trust. There was a focus on Media with professionals within the industry sharing their knowledge, skills, and expertise with those interested in pursuing a career within Media and other creative industries.

The Real Talk and Networking sessions offer young people in Brent an opportunity to hone their skills and open their minds to future employment and career pathways.

The events are free to attend to all young people who might be considering their future career prospects.

If you are interested in attending a future session, please contact the Foundation at with the subject header: Passport to Success.

JRF Celebrate Local Community

Women receiving awards

On Wednesday the 23rd of November local people from the Brent Community came together for an evening of celebration, to mark the end of the Reaching and Building Communities Projects, which were funded by Brent Council’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL).

The event, which was sponsored by Eversleigh LLP, and attended by Mayor of Brent Cllr Abdi Aden, was an opportunity for the JRF Team to recognise the achievements of participants of the two Projects, as well as JRF Youth Volunteers and Staff.

Reaching Communities – a 1-year inter-generational pilot project that supports the whole community through youth engagement, community cohesion, and health and wellbeing was launched in October 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite social distancing restrictions and lockdowns, the JRF were successful in delivering all the planned events and activities, whether in person or online.

In April 2021 JRF launched the Building Communities project – a community engagement and activity programme that addresses inequality and social exclusion, saw teams of staff, volunteers, sports coaches, and mentors, engage with marginalised and isolated individuals and groups across the borough through outreach initiatives. People of all ages were encouraged to participate in community sports, activities, and events delivered by JRF at Bridgestone Arena and were signposted to other voluntary and support services in Brent.

The End of Programme celebration of “Culture, Empathy, and shared Prosperity” saw children, young people, and adults receiving certificates and trophies in recognition and celebration of their participation, achievement, and leadership. Our Youth Volunteers who supported the successful delivery of both programmes were rewarded for their dedication and time, with certificates and vouchers.

Martene Carroll, Business Development Manager of the Foundation said; “The Awards Ceremony epitomised the purpose and spirit of both the Reaching Communities and Building Communities projects, which brought our wonderfully diverse community together. It was a joy to see key participants, volunteers, and staff being recognised in this way. The evening really was a celebration of their individual and combined accomplishments.”

Photo © Amanda Rose

Footballers come Full Circle

Full Circle Football Squad

On Sunday 16th October the Jason Roberts Foundation were delighted to host a very unique event – ‘Full Circle’ at the Bridgestone Arena, as former professional footballers gathered en masse to share their journeys, knowledge, and experience of the game, with the local community and aspiring individuals looking to learn more about the inner depths of the game.

The event was supported by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) with former player Riz Rehman attending alongside the JRF’s Inspire to Achieve Heritage project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Young Brent Foundation, and Connect Stars.

Former professional players, Zesh Rehman, Mikele Leigertwood, Colin Barnes, Jerome Thomas, Marcus Bean, Mark Stein, Edwin Stein, Jamal Campbell Ryce, Richard Langley, Justin Cochrane,  DJ Campbell, Junior Lewis, and Phil Ifil, all came together and delivered a number of sessions, looking at practical coaching and delivery, skill sharing, and personal history sessions to help educate people from the local community and surrounding areas.

The initiative which has taken several months to plan really did come Full Circle on the day of the event, with the name reflecting the individual journey of each of the players who attended, and their contribution on the day, helping to inspire future generations.

With the ongoing partnership between JRF and local Football & Sports Business University, UCFB, a small team of students who are studying different degree courses, are supporting JRF events such as the Full Circle initiative.

The students – Joshua Hall and Matt Jessup who are studying Football Business and Media, Daniel Marshall who is studying Multimedia Sports Journalism, and Alex Hardy who is studying Football Business and Broadcasting, used their collective skills on the day to interview players and other participants, and film and edit a video of the event for JRF. The experience and skills they demonstrated will be used as credits for their degree coursework.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation commented: “These players were, and still are, an integral part of the community. We felt that an initiative such as this really epitomizes the valuable contribution these individuals can offer, by sharing their stories – their upbringing, playing careers as well as their subsequent careers in football, and their knowledge and expertise. The event enabled participants to have a up close and personal experience and discover key elements of the game and associated careers that will help their development and understanding, allowing them to take their next individual step in the game.

Our first Full Circle event has been a huge success and something that we will certainly look to deliver again in the future.”

Due to the popularity of the event, JRF have organised some follow-on sessions where some participants will visit some of the coaches in their place of work helping to develop community partnerships and employment opportunities for young people.

Bakkavor Meals London Fundraise for JRF

Bakkavor Foods T10 Cricket Event

On Sunday 7th August Bakkavor Meals London took over Bridgestone Arena for a community day of Sports, Games, Activities, and Refreshments, to raise funds for the Jason Roberts Foundation.

The Fundraising Event organised by Luke Burgham, HR Business Partner from Bakkavor Meals followed the success of the T10 Cricket Event last year that raised over £600 for JRF, and saw staff, teams, and volunteers come together with people from the local community, in a day that included a Cricket and Football Tournament, Giant Board Games, an Inflatable Bouncy Castle, and a Raffle which included some fabulous prizes!

As well as raising money on the day Bakkavor Meals have set up a Just Giving page so those people that weren’t able to attend the Sunday Event could still donate.

The sunny weather helped to ensure everyone who attended had a great day out.

Luke Burgham said of the day.

“We were beyond excited to be able to host our second annual cricket event with the Jason Roberts Foundation this year. On the back of the success of last year’s we were able to continue growing this event together and making it the best experience for everyone involved! Being able to also have a Jason Roberts team this year was the cherry on top of the cake, and we hoped showed everyone what the heart of this Foundation was about by keeping people playing sports! We look forward to many more years in partnership.”

For more information regarding Bakkavor Meals London visit

Cyrille Regis – His Legacy Lives on

Group photo including Roberts and Michelle Regis

Sunday 31st July 2022

As part of the Jason Roberts Foundation’s (JRF) Inspire to Achieve (I2A) Heritage Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Cyrille Regis Legacy Cup and Fun day was held at Bridgestone Arena, in the heart of the Stonebridge Estate on the day of the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 Final.

A big turnout from the local community were treated to an appearance from special guests Robert and Michelle, son and daughter of the late Brent hero and footballing icon, Cyrille Regis, MBE.

The trip to Stonebridge brought back fond memories for Robert and Michelle as their time as children was split between homes in Birmingham where their father played for West Bromwich Albion, and Stonebridge in Brent.

Robert recalled he doesn’t remember the number of the flat they lived in as their door was “always open” and their home “was always full of people”. He remembered how he envied his cousin Jason (Roberts) as he had one grandparent living upstairs and another grandparent living downstairs and that seemed “unreal” to him, and the “honour (he) felt walking with my cousins to Rockies Chip Shop”.

Michelle said Stonebridge was where they got their grounding as children. They were taught to say, ‘good morning, good afternoon, or good evening’ – “never just hello” and how their father would be there waiting for them, with his cap on at a tilt on his head and his bent arms and chin resting on the balcony ledge. They both agreed they had “the best times” and loved returning to Stonebridge as there was such a feeling of community and everyone seemed to know each other.

The Foundation’s I2A Heritage project was inspired by the sporting legacies left by the Footballers who Paved the Way in the borough of Brent, and Cyrille Regis ”became the talisman for breaking through the bigotry of a different era and encouraging diversity during his seven-year spell between 1977-1984.” Ref:

Thanks to National Lottery players, local people attending the event enjoyed a host of activities including football matches, face painting for the children, interviews, and heritage awareness of the iconic footballers from the past that grace the borough and performed on the international stage.

Also in attendance was the Mayor of the London Borough of Brent, Councillor Abdi Aden and WBA Photographer Laurie Rampling who first snapped Robert aged 2 and he was reunited with the son of his great friend  Cyrille.

Watch out more heritage news and the I2A Heritage website coming soon.

These Girls Can

Womens' Team with Eartha Pond and Rachel Yankey

Sunday 17th July 2022

Ahead of the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 Final at neighbouring Wembley Stadium on Sunday 31st of July, the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) hosted an exhilarating Women’s Football Tournament at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 with special guests Eartha Pond and Rachel Yankey, OBE.

As part of the JRF Inspire to Achieve Heritage Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the afternoon’s sporting event included a special Memory Café where the audience heard from Eartha and Rachel about growing up in Brent and their journey to becoming professional footballers.

With England’s Lionesses playing in the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 semi-finals only days away, this all-female Memory Café was the perfect time for the women competing in the day’s football tournament to be inspired by these two players who made such a significant contribution to Women’s football both Nationally and Internationally.

Some amazing questions were put to the former defender and left winger who both played at the highest level in Women’s football from a young age, and with Eartha’s role on the FA Women’s Football Board one of the audience members wanted to know what the FA’s plans are to maintain the momentum of the UEFA Women’s Euros competition and keep the focus on girls entering the sport.

Rachel who played for clubs including Arsenal and Fulham and who won her first England cap and goal at the age of seventeen, was the first professional female player registered in England, revealed that she had first been spotted by the head coach of the male team.

Eartha who joined the women for their training session ahead of the tournament, played for clubs including Chelsea, Everton, and Tottenham Hotspur, and surprised the audience when she spoke about having to work whilst pursuing her career in professional Women’s football, and that she was a sports teacher and Assistant Vice-Principal at the local Crest Academy.

The insightful Q&A session uncovered stories of the resilience young women like Rachel and Eartha had to display when Women’s Football went from grassroots to elite level in what was then a male-dominated sport. The audience appreciated the contribution these two former professional players have made to Women’s football and how they and the current Lionesses have raised the profile of Women in football and have opened the door for future generations to pursue a career playing football professionally.

The day ended with a fun Heritage Quiz with a focus on Brent, and with excited anticipation of the forthcoming Women’s semi-final on the 26th of July.

The Resilience of the Regis Brothers inspire students

Cyrille Regis Footballer

On Wednesday 26th January the students at Newman Catholic College received a visit from former student and ex-professional footballer Dave Regis, as part of the Jason Roberts Foundation’s Inspire to Achieve Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The former striker who scored 53 goals from 237 appearances in the Football League in the 1990s, notably for Stoke City and Notts County, spoke to the students about the resilience, the challenges, and the successes of he and his late brother, Cyrille Regis, on their journey from Newman Catholic College to the different Leagues in their footballing careers.

The Regis Memory Café gave students and those accessing the Q&A session via Zoom, the opportunity to ask Dave about his time as a professional footballer, and to tell previously unheard stories of the childhood he and his brother shared growing up in Brent.

Cyrille Regis, MBE (1958 – 2018) was a professional footballer who played as a forward. His professional playing career spanned 19 years, where he made 614 league appearances and scored 158 league goals, most prolifically at West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City. He remains a footballing icon who broke through the bigotry of a different era and encouraged diversity, helping to pave the way for current and future footballers.

After his sad and untimely passing in 2018 his family set up the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust which serves to honour and remember the life of Cyrille Regis MBE. For more information visit

For more information regarding the JRF Inspire to Achieve Heritage project please contact

Exhibition Match celebrates diversity, culture, & Heritage

Heritage Exhibition Match Players

Sunday the 12th of June saw several ex-professional and current footballers descend on the Bridgestone Arena turf to celebrate the achievements of former players that went before as part of the JRF’s Inspire to Achieve project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

The 200 strong crowd were treated to a Festival of Sports with a host of special appearances including a team from East London which consisted of some well-known names including Henry Hughton and former Reading legend Michael Gilkes, alongside the Stein brothers, Dominican International Richard Paquette and Jefferson Louis and another footballing family – the trio of Grenadian international players Byron, Alvin and Bradley Bubb.

The colourful event brought out authentic stories of players reconnecting with their countries of heritage, recollections of the Windrush journey the players’ parents and grandparents experienced were shared, and memories of the journeys each of the players have lived through and the collective impact they have had on the modern game were told.

The memorable afternoon culminated in a celebration of flags, music, and reunion.

Algie who organised the East London team commented; “Today was inspirational in so many ways. Coming to Brent and seeing so many youngsters enjoy the day, and of course catching up with old friends. The reunion, reminiscing on our stories, and celebrating our past was sensational.”