Monday, August 3, 2009

Goodbye Sir Bobby Robson

There you go, another legendary has passed away.

Your memories: Sir Bobby Robson

Former England football manager Sir Bobby Robson has died at the age of 76. He had been suffering from cancer.

He won 20 England caps as a player but he was better known for his achievements as a football manager.

Among the clubs he managed were Newcastle United, Ipswich Town, Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Porto.

As England manager he led the team to two World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in 1990.

Here readers share their stories of when they met Sir Bobby Robson.

My late father took me to Fulham to see Bobby play and what a player in the team with Johnny Haynes - what these two players and gentleman they were. We have lost another great man, manager, player, and true Englishman. I will treasure the autograph book signed by all the Fulham team including Bobby's forever.
Ken Broome, Milton Keynes

When Bobby Robson played for West Bromwich Albion he and other team members coached at
Willingworth Secondary School, in Tipton. I was a weedy 12-year-old and during a game Bobby took me to one side and demonstrated how I should tackle. He then took the ball and came towards me saying: "Don't be afraid, get stuck in." I closed my eyes and swung a boot (wooden toe-caps in those days) and caught him on the shin. Unfortunately, I contacted his knee-cap and put him out for two games. Sorry Bobby but I was a Wolves fan.
Stephen Baker, Ilfracombe

I met Sir Bobby when I was mascot for
Ipswich back in 1980. They were playing Coventry at home. I was standing in the tunnel waiting for the players to come out and he came along and talked to me and calmed me down. I was only eight at the time and he was a true gentleman.
Matt Brookes, Chelmsford

My son, aged ten at the time, and I were walking down a corridor behind two corporate boxes at a home match at Norwich City when Mr Robson, who was looking over a possible England contender, was walking the other way. My son and I were looking at the programme's league tables and discussing our current position. Mr Robson stopped and offered his opinion and signed the programme which we still have some 25 years later.
Leon Rose, Norwich

I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Bobby in the mid-80s when I was working for a building society and we used his services to re-open a refurbished branch in Nottingham. He was
England manager then. Our branch manager and I took him for lunch afterwards. I will always remember Bobby's kindness and good humour that day. We've lost a wonderful man. See you in heaven, Bob. You can buy me lunch then.
Richard Simpson, Newcastle upon Tyne

I once interviewed Sir Bobby when I was a junior hack. I could immediately see why footballers wanted to play for him - such an inspirational gent. He even gave me some coaching tips on my interview technique. What a smashing bloke.

D G, Oxford

I met him at the luggage belt of
Newcastle airport during his time as manager of Newcastle. The team had been in London playing Arsenal and the plane was very late back to Newcastle. Even though I told him my dad was a lifelong Arsenal fan and had been at the match, he offered me a lift in one of the team cars to get me safely home in the middle of the night. Thank you. We in Newcastle mourn.
Nicola, Newcastle upon Tyne

My wife and I met Bobby and Elsie on our way back from our honeymoon in
Bangkok. They were such a lovely couple and they pampered us for the three days that we spent at the Bangkok Oriental Hotel. One night they took us out for a meal in a German restaurant and then we went on to Patpong market. It seemed utterly surreal haggling for fake Rolexes along side Bobby. Meeting them was certainly one of the highlights of our trip.
Richard Ellis, Farnham

I was privileged to meet him several years ago. What a gentleman and example of sportsmanship. I asked him about the "hand of God goal" that put
England out of the 1986 World Cup. He said he was not angry at Maradona, just sad for him. He added: "Here was the greatest footballer in the world on the greatest stage in the world with a chance to prove that he was also the greatest sportsman in the world and he blew it." Enough said.
Ian Howard, Swindon

He will be a sad loss to football and had the great pleasure of meeting him the last season he was in charge of
Newcastle at a charity event for the Macmillan Nurses at St. James' Park. My table was near the entrance from the room and as I sat towards the end of the evening with arm draped over a chair, he walked past made eye contact, lifted my hand and shook it, said hello, adding what a great evening it was and hoped I'd enjoyed myself, then said nice to meet you. A memory I will never forget - an honour.
Stuart Morrison, Newcastle upon Tyne

We were in the restaurant of the Copthorne Hotel in
Newcastle when the team were there ahead of a home game. Sir Bobby and Alan Shearer were sat on a table behind us and I am sure should have been talking tactics, but when Sir Bobby saw my then 8-year-old son in his 'Shearer' shirt stopped and invited him over to sit with Alan and himself. He then spent ten minutes talking to him. My son still remembers that as his favourite day and tearfully reminded me of it again today.
Andy, England

Even though we all knew Bobby was ill, his death still comes as a real shock since his passion for football and love of life was such a strong force. I had the privilege of meeting him once at a book signing in
Newcastle just after United had lost the FA Cup Semi Final in 2000. I tried to thank him for bringing us so close to the final but he just apologised for not winning the game and said: "We nearly got it, we were so close." Such a gent, such a genuinely nice guy and a true Geordie legend.
Howard, Newcastle

A few years ago my wife and myself were in the BA lounge at
Newcastle airport when Sir Bobby came in. We had previously seen him checking in and surrounded by well wishers. We said hello but thought he deserved some peace. After about ten minutes he came over to us and we talked for about 40 minutes about his family and his time in Spain. He did not have to do this and we would have fully understood if he had wanted some peace. Sir Bobby was a true gentleman and we were honoured to have met him.
Peter Gray, Northumberland

I shall remember the day I met Sir Bobby Robson for the rest of my life. We were staying at a hotel in
Newcastle as we had travelled up from Devon to watch them play Fulham in March 2008. My husband has been an avid Sir Bobby and Newcastle fan for many years. On the Friday evening, we met him accidently in the hotel foyer. He chatted to us and was such a charming and humble man, interested in us and our lives. He said he was meeting a "mate". We were introduced to the "mate" - Roy Hodgson! [former player and current manager of Fulham].
Julie Elliott, Dartmouth

My daughter asked for money instead of presents for her 13th birthday and donated it to Sir Bobby's cancer charity. He personally signed a
Newcastle shirt for her, and when we met him at a book signing earlier this year (almost a year after her birthday) he even remembered the pattern of the writing paper that she used to write to him. She treasures the shirt and the picture that was taken with him. A real star, he will be hugely missed.
Karen Quinn, Newcastle upon Tyne

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