A tribute to ex-Albion winger Laurie Cunningham is being aired tonight to celebrate the anniversary of the late star’s birthday.
The Baggies legend was the first black footballer to pull on an England shirt and his impact on the game continues to be felt decades after he was killed in a car accident, aged just 33.
Cunningham was born in Holloway, north London, on March 8 in 1956 and the ITV show explores how he dealt with early prejudice because of his colour.
He was kicked out by Arsenal as a junior because of bad timekeeping.
Legend has it he was the only footballer to ever leave the field at Real Madrid’s Bernebeu Stadium to a standing ovation after he almost single-handedly destroyed arch rivals Barcelona in a 2-0 win.
But it was at The Hawthorns where his star shone brightest and his trailblazing story is highlighted in the documentary.
The programme also explores Cunningham’s spell at Real Madrid, where he had gained an unfair playboy reputation before his untimely death in a road smash.
Cunningham was known as one of the legendary Baggies’ Three Degrees alongside Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson. Full-back Batson said: “No one talks about Pele as being a black player, he’s just Pele, Laurie at that time just carried that single name, he was just Laurie.”
*First Among Equals, The Laurie Cunningham Story, is on ITV tonight at 10.35pm.