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Monday, August 03, 2009

The Passing of a Blessing to Football

Sir Robert William Robson, CBE

Where do you start on one who was so positive on and off the pitch?

Player, Manager, a knight, a commander. One who transformed his experience and thought into a sport as a 'teacher', who raised a quiet side in Ipswich Town to the FA Cup famously over Arsenal, the UEFA Cup thereafter against AZ Alkmaar, the Dutch league twice consectuviely with PSV, and again in Portugal with Porto (after he was unfairly dismissed from Sporting Lisbon) and then the domestic trophies with Barcelona, as well as what is now the UEFA Cup.

He took on the mantle of his 'home' club, in Newcastle United, his boyhood team, and he made them a worthwhile competitor in the top flight of English football. I implored for him to remain there when he was passed on for Souness. And Bobby showed how much of a competitor he was off the pitch, as well as on it, in his sparring rounds with cancer. Four times that re-match occurred, and eventually Sir Bobby was defeated. But put up a fight he did, nonetheless, as such a character he was. It truly made him a gentleman, an honourable professional and a figure of football that there is clearly a rarity of right now.

Football now is a competitive arena almost as much off the pitch as on it. In fact it would seem more off it. Money has become a catalyst to some success and where would our English hopes be if the managers of the top flight teams were compelled to restrict their spending and be persuaded into nurturing more of the homegrown talent. I would think our national team would simply flourish and prosper, continental teaching (in some cases) mixed with homegrown application. That is the kind of football Sir Bobby would have an integral part of in his later managerial period.

From when he was pushed from St James' Park, instead of having to hang onto such roles as a consultant to Steve Staunton for the Republic of Ireland squad, Sir Bobby would have been better placed to bring through more of England's talent in a sophisticated national football school, something separate and yet parallel with those being taught under the tutilage of the top flight coaches. He would have cherished that role.

My fondest memories come mostly from the 1986 & 1990 escapades in the World Cup. How we made waves into the QF in Mexico, only to be out-done (still bewilderingly) by Maradona's 'Hand of God', and then further by his run for the 2nd goal. Italy, where a tearful Gascoigne had to be consoled, where an equally tearful Stuart Pearce missed, in the semi-finals.

Other tributes have stated Sir Bobby would be sorely missed. I echo that. Other than the likes of Bobby Moore, the Charlton brothers, there hasn't been a more gallant person. Thank you, Sir Bobby.



Anonymous Skipper said...

You showed ubelieveable passion for the game. I will miss him.

8/03/2009 11:51 am

Anonymous GunnerPete said...

Redsman your tribute is as good as it gets and all true football fans over the age of 15 will agree with every word.

As a 67 year old I can remember being at Wembley the day when Bobby scored the first England goal against the Scots in a 9-3 slaughter. The delight the rest of the team showered on him will always stick in my mind. He was loved then as he was by the football world right to the end .

Bobby, like many a geordie, never abandoned his roots. In todays stupid world of spoilt, want it all now and to hell with others people, he remembered how hard it was during his working class upbringing. He never became a' working class deserter to the chattering right wing wealthy that sadly seems to be the first thing most do when their talent makes them too rich to think for themselves'.

As a footballer I remember him and Johnny Haynes plus Jimmy Hill playing for Fulham at Highbury he was class. Very honest and competetive. As a manager he was the same. And from what Ive heard this week from the people close to him, he was the same in his private life.

I will miss him.

8/03/2009 11:52 am

Blogger T said...

Thank you Redsman for a superb tribute to a great man. Thanks also to Skipper and Gunnerpete for your words.

This is my comment posted on Friday:

'Sir Bobby Robson has passed away this morning. He was a man of great honour and humility. Football has had fortune to have a man of this character as one its representatives. He represented this country with dignity and integrity.

We send our condolences to his friends and family.

Rest in Peace, Sir Bobby Robson.'

8/03/2009 6:28 pm

Anonymous football said...

sir bobby was my hero and my inspiration too. i loved his game.he is a legend,he will always remembered in the history of football.

8/05/2009 9:40 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby was a top manager I thought h really loved the sport, was one of the best who did not win anything in England or with |England and he did it in Europe. Says a lot really. I like this site, thought it was lame and crud when I looked at it but you guys sound OK, some jerks you have to put up with, and Im looking for these jerks to come and say a thank you to Bobby but they wont they like gobbing off and nothing else. Maybe now you guys are too good for them to moan about! lollll!!

Cya Bobby, thanks for your time mate, hope to join you up there when I go, wont be another one like you unless he's foreign!

Cheers RIP

8/05/2009 12:05 pm


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