Saturday, August 01, 2009


Farewell, rest in peace! Thanks for all those great years at Newcastle United! I will remember him as the most kindest and lovable character in the football world today. You have never in a second heard any comments, opinions, statements, speeches and actions by him that has ever threatened, intimidated, badmouthed, discouraged, insulted, belittled, let down or brought disrespect to anybody, even the referees, the linesmen and the opponents. He is like an ultimate saint in the football world. He has always only kind and good things to say about anyone despite living in a very competitive world of football. A manager like him is probably extinct in the football world today. This is why I have so much respect of him.

Personal information
Full name Robert William Robson
Date of birth 18 February 1933(1933-02-18)
Place of birth Sacriston, County Durham, England
Date of death 31 July 2009 (aged 76)
Place of death County Durham, England
Playing position Deep-lying forward
Senior career*
Years Club Apps† (Gls)†
1950–1956 Fulham 152 (68)
1956–1962 West Bromwich Albion 239 (56)
1962–1967 Fulham 192 (9)
1967–1968 Vancouver Royals
National team
1957–1962 England 20 (4)
Teams managed
1968 Fulham
1969–1982 Ipswich Town
1982–1990 England
1990–1992 PSV Eindhoven
1992–1994 Sporting Lisbon
1994–1996 FC Porto
1996–1997 FC Barcelona
1998–1999 PSV Eindhoven
1999–2004 Newcastle United
2006–2007 Republic of Ireland (Special Consultant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

English Angle: Remembers The Legendary Sir Bobby Robson (1933-2009)
Legendary manager Sir Bobby Robson was finally beaten by cancer earlier today. remembers his outstanding career...
31 Jul 2009 14:55:15

Sir Bobby Robson sadly passed away this morning, aged 76, after a long and tenacious battle against cancer. He holds a special place in English football as both the most successful national team manager since World Cup-winning Sir Alf Ramsey, and its most successful coaching export at club level.

Most closely associated in his homeland with Newcastle United, Ipswich Town and the Three Lions, Robson won huge respect and acclaim on the continent for his work at PSV in Holland, Sporting and Porto in Portugal, and Barcelona in Spain. As a result, despite the Geordie roots of which he was so proud, Sir Bobby defied the image of the insular Englishman, and was an influence on the careers of the magical Brazilian pair Romario and Ronaldo, as well as being the man who nurtured Jose Mourinho's rise to prominence as a coach.

However, although it is as a coach that Robson will be best remembered - in particular as the manager who steered England to the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup, where eventual winners Germany needed a
penalty shoot-out to beat them - his achievements in that capacity should not eclipse a successful playing career. Bobby won 20 caps for his country, was included in two World Cup squads and made nearly 600
league appearances for Fulham (in two spells) and West Bromwich Albion, scoring 133 goals as an attacking wing-half or deep-lying inside-forward.

Having completed an FA coaching course while still a player, Robson began his managerial career with Fulham in January 1968. The Cottagers, though, were struggling at the time and he couldn't save them from relegation to the old Second Division that season. By November he'd been sacked, learning of his fate from a newspaper headline outside Putney station.

Yet the set-back proved to be a blessing in disguise, as his next appointment was at Ipswich Town in 1969, and the Suffolk club, with their enlightened board, provided him with the ideal environment to develop his managerial skills and build a club in his own image.

Over the course of the next 13 years, Ipswich were rarely out of the top six, twice finished as league runners-up, won the FA Cup for the first time in 1978 and made regular appearances in Europe, winning the UEFA Cup in 1981 with a 5–4 aggregate victory over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. Remarkably, throughout his time at Portman Road he bought only 14 players from other clubs, placing the emphasis instead on a highly successful youth development programme.

The affection in which he is still held at Ipswich was reflected by the making in 2002 of a life-size statue of Robson outside their Portman Road stadium. His achievements prompted the FA to offer him the England job in 1982, and in 28 qualifying matches as national team manager, he suffered only one defeat.

England were beaten by Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, and while their 1988 European Championship involvement was ignominious, two years later at Italia '90, Robson was a couple of penalty kicks away from a World Cup final.

Ironically, before that tournament, the FA had told Robson that they would not renew his contract as England manager, so after it he embarked upon his successful phase coaching in Europe. In 1990 he took over at PSV Eindhoven, describing the move as a 'culture shock' but instilling enough discipline into a fractious squad - which included the maverick Romario - to clinch the Dutch League title in both 1990-91 and 1991-92.

He moved to Sporting Clube de Portugal in July 1992, admitting they were in a terrible state and that their president was a "loose cannon", but still steering them to a third-place finish in his first season. They were sitting on top of the Portuguese League when Robson was sacked in December 1994. It was at Sporting that he first encountered the young Mourinho as his interpreter, and when Porto immediately hired Bobby as their coach, he took Jose with him as his assistant manager. Robson guided Porto to Portuguese Cup final success against Sporting, then followed up with successive league titles in 1994–95 and 1995–96.

Those achievements prompted Barcelona to offer him the role of head coach in July 1996, and he brought Ronaldo (as well as Mourinho) to Camp Nou; the Brazilian being a key figure in the team that won the Spanish Cup, Spanish Super Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1996-97, as Robson was voted European Manager of the Year. Ronaldo hailed him as "without doubt one of the greatest [trainers] in the world".

Nevertheless, the following season Robson was moved 'upstairs' by Barca as general manager, as Louis van Gaal took over. After a year in that role, he returned to manage PSV on a short-term contract for the 1998–99 season, when he secured Champions League qualification for the Eindhoven club.

He'd gone back to England at the end of that season to take up a technical post with the FA when fate intervened again. Robson, a native of County Durham, had grown up watching Tyneside idols Jackie Milburn and Len Shackleton at his beloved Newcastle United, and in September 1999, when Ruud Gullit resigned, the Magpies invited him to become their manager. Robson was finally at his spiritual home, St James' Park; in his first match there he guided a struggling team to an 8-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Under Robson the Toon finished 11th, 11th, fourth, third and fifth in the Premier League in successive seasons, and qualified twice for the Champions League. But chairman Freddy Shepherd dismissed him in August 2004 amid dressing-room discontent that was reflected in a poor start to the season on the pitch. Robson himself was critical of the board's apparent neglect of important aspects of the club such as the training ground, youth development and the scouting network; Newcastle have steadily declined since his dismissal.

In January 2006, when Steve Staunton was appointed manager of the Republic of Ireland national team, Robson was named in a supporting consultancy capacity, but later had to relinquish that role because of failing health.

Sir Bobby, who was awarded the CBE in 1990 and a knighthood in 2002, had his first brush with cancer in 1992 when he defeated bowel cancer. He overcame malignant melanoma while at Porto in 1995, and then in 2006 battled through being diagnosed with tumours in his right lung and brain. He was left partially paralysed by a stroke caused by the brain tumour, and also with a partially prosthetic upper jaw after the melanoma was removed. When he was diagnosed for a fifth time with cancer in 2007, again in his lungs, and told it was terminal, Sir Bobby decided to devote the time remaining to him to help fight the disease. On March 25 2008 he launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which by November 2008 had raised £1 million.

Awarded the Freedom of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the City of Durham and Ipswich, Robson's numerous other awards included the UEFA President's Award for 'services to football', induction into the English Football Hall of Fame, the Football Writers' Association Tribute Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show in recognition of "his contribution as both player and manager in a career spanning more than half a century".

In March 2009, UEFA awarded Robson the Emerald UEFA Order of Merit award, reserved for "individuals who have dedicated their talents to the good of the game". Fittingly, in the week of his death, the award was presented to Sir Bobby at St James' Park last Sunday, before the Sir Bobby Robson Trophy match between the England and Germany 1990 teams.

Sir Bobby is survived by Elsie, Lady Robson, whom he married in June 1955, and their three sons, Andrew, Paul and Mark.

Graham Lister,

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