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Once an Iron... Dave Regis

15 April 2020

Despite spending just two short spells as a player with United, Dave Regis has had a large impact on the wider football world over the last two decades.

During the coming days, we'll republish past interviews with former Iron players from our matchday programme.

Dave rose to prominence in his mid-20’s whilst playing for non-league side Barnet which earned him a move to Notts County in 1990.

He then transferred to Plymouth Argyle before later enjoying stints at the likes of Stoke City, Birmingham City, Southend United and Barnsley.

It was during his time with the Tykes that Regis’ first contact with Scunthorpe came about and he began by telling us how that move transpired.

“I initially signed on loan for the club in 1997 and played a handful of games,” Dave said.

“I then negotiated my release from Barnsley and I signed a full contract with Scunthorpe in 1998.

“There was a good bunch of lads at the club and I knew a couple of the boys anyway so settling in wasn’t a problem at all.

“Justin Walker and Nathan Stanton were both from Nottingham so that was nice for me but I knew most of the players, the surroundings and of course the manager from my previous loan spell so I certainly didn’t having any trouble settling in.”

Regis’ time in North Lincolnshire was cut short however, just four games into his permanent spell at the club.

The striker was playing in a game against Lincoln City and spoke of how he had to come to the devastating decision to call time on his football career at the age of 33.

He continued: “I was playing in a game away at Lincoln and I damaged my patella tendon really badly.

“It would have taken me the best part of a year to recover from it and at the age of 33, I just knew that my playing days were over unfortunately.

“It was never going to be easy to come to terms with an injury like that, and obviously the end of my playing career, but I already had an idea of what I wanted to do after football so it’s just one of those things that you have to get over very quickly - otherwise it has the potential to destroy you.

“Scunthorpe was a lovely little club with a real community type feel to it, some very loyal supporters and it was very clear back then that they were trying to move in the right direction.

“I look back on my time with Scunthorpe fondly but with a slight tinge of disappointment that it was my last football league club.

“In general though, I have very good memories of my career overall because I just really wanted to play professional football and to get the opportunity to do so was a dream come true.

“I knew the other side of life of having a normal job so to speak so I’m very pleased that I had a career as a footballer, despite how short it was.”

Perhaps unbeknown to some, Regis comes from a family of fine athletes who have gone on to experience sporting success of their own.

His brother Cyrille Regis enjoyed playing spells with the likes of West Brom, Coventry City and Aston Villa, his cousin John Regis was a successful sprinter and gained a silver medal for Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and he is also the uncle of former West Brom striker Jason Roberts.

And Dave spoke of how proud he has been to see some of his closest relatives excel in their own careers.

“I used to go and watch Cyrille play whenever I could so we’ve always been very close and I’m immensely proud of his achievements,” he said.

“He drove me on to try and make a success of my playing career and I wanted to try and emulate him, without a doubt.

“I was obviously also delighted to see John do so well and to have two members of my family who were, I suppose, relatively famous at that time and excelling in their chosen profession was great.

“I have a huge family but I’m very close to Jason. He came through the non-league route like myself and my brother and he’s had an excellent career. I’m also a trustee for his charity and again, I’m really proud of his achievements.”

Since retiring from football himself just prior to the turn of the millennium, Dave has held various football related positions to remain affiliated with the game he loves.

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