NATHAN DYER fought again tears as he recalled how Cyrille Regis turned like a father to him.
The West Brom and Coventry legend was Swansea winger Dyer’s advisor and confidant from the age of 14 till his dying final Sunday.
Dyer, 30, spoke to his mentor for the final time two days earlier than he died.
Barely controlling his feelings, he stated: “I knew Cyrille since I used to be 14. He was my first agent and nonetheless was till the day he died.
“He was extra like a father determine to me rising up, successfully my second dad, all through all my ups and downs.
“He has been there all through every part in my profession, each day.
“I spoke to him on Friday. We had been speaking about our recreation in opposition to Newcastle the next day. Then simply a few days later I had a name to say he was gone. He helped me by means of a lot in my life — simply seeing him and chatting with him made me smile.
“I need to use every part he taught me to encourage the following era of footballers, as a result of once I retire I need to be a mentor like he was for me.
‘NICE ONE CYRILLE’ Cyrille Regis honoured with minute’s applause from Premier League gamers and followers
“Cyrille was at all times that go-to man once I was struggling to know what to do to get picked.
“He was a fantastic particular person to assist me preserve my head and supply concepts of issues to do once I was feeling low.
“Cyrille would ask, ‘Are you doing this? Are you doing that?’ It’s loopy to assume I’ll by no means communicate to him once more.”
Dyer faces Liverpool tomorrow at the Liberty Stadium, having been at Swansea for 9 years.
His profession has seen him win promotion to the highest flight with the Swans in 2011, rating twice in League Cup last glory in opposition to Bradford at Wembley in 2013 and win the title whereas on mortgage at Leicester.
However as he contemplates life after soccer, the ex-Southampton ace insists somewhat than coach or handle, he needs to take younger gamers below his wing and assist information them.
Dyer defined: “Once I first began enjoying I assumed being profitable in soccer was nearly coaching, working onerous and enjoying.
“However I’ve needed to be taught the onerous method as there’s a lot politics within the recreation.
“Some gamers need to work a lot more durable than others to get on within the recreation.
“These days, younger footballers should take into consideration way more than simply enjoying. It’s a political minefield.
“There’s generally an excessive amount of strain in Premier League soccer.
“Quite a lot of gamers are nonetheless younger lads, of their late teenagers and early 20s, they usually’re anticipated to behave very in another way to different individuals their similar age.
“With the cash we receives a commission now, extra individuals are judging us. You’ll hear and skim, ‘You’re on this a lot cash, why are you doing this, why are you doing that?’
“There may be this angle that somebody can say to you what they need — however you may’t say one thing again since you’re incomes some huge cash. It’s insanity.
“That’s why I got here off most social media websites. We had a lot of conferences about it, the place we had been informed what we are able to say, what we are able to’t say. What you may reply to, what you may’t reply to. I simply thought, ‘That is an excessive amount of, I can’t be myself’ — so I got here off Fb and Twitter. I now solely have Instagram, which is only for my household and associates.”
Dyer believes footballers have gotten extra robotic — stripped of their very own character to the surface world.
He stated: “The youthful boys nonetheless need to exit, which I did again in my earlier days, nevertheless it’s extra scrutinised now.
“It may be going to the grocery store at midnight and other people saying you’re meant to be in mattress. Otherwise you could be seen shopping for a doughnut and also you’re slaughtered as you shouldn’t be consuming a kind of!
“It will get ridiculous. I discover it loopy when golf equipment cancel Christmas events in the event that they’re in a relegation battle. To the surface world, it provides out the message you’re taking it significantly.
“However the actuality of the scenario is that it doesn’t make a blind little bit of distinction should you maintain a Christmas get together or not.
“In the event you do it on the proper time, it’s not going to affect in your efficiency.
“Final season Swansea didn’t have a Christmas get together — and we stored dropping video games throughout that interval. This season, we had one and received our subsequent recreation!”
Footballers are informed they have to be position fashions, however a brutally trustworthy Dyer stated: “What if a participant doesn’t need to be?”
“Quite a lot of sportsmen and ladies are paid lots however don’t get the identical stage of criticism levelled at them as footballers.
“It’s as a result of soccer is the No 1 sport on the planet — most actually within the UK.
“However some individuals don’t need to be position fashions, they need to be themselves.
“Have a look at Joey Barton. He is likely one of the most outspoken individuals on the market. He says it how he sees it, whether or not you agree with him or disagree. He’s who he’s — and that’s nice too.
“I’m now capable of be myself however have discovered to do it round these near me. If you end up out and about, you could at all times be in your tiptoes.”
Sound recommendation to any younger footballers immediately. And lay off the doughnuts . . .