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Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 20:58 UK

Legend Sir Bobby Robson, 76, dies

Sir Bobby Robson

Obituary - Sir Bobby Robson 1933-2009

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has died at the age of 76, following a long battle with cancer.

Robson will be best remembered on the international stage for leading England to the 1990 World Cup semi-final.

At club level, he cut his managerial teeth at Fulham before establishing his credentials at Ipswich where he won the FA Cup and Uefa Cup in a 13-year stay.

Spells at PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona followed before he managed Newcastle United.

Robson, who was born in County Durham and watched the Magpies from the terraces, returned to his native north-east in 1999 in what was to be his last major role in football.

After leaving Newcastle, he was a consultant for the Republic of Ireland side while he battled cancer, and later took on an ambassadorial role for the Football Association of Ireland.

Many floral tributes have already been laid at St James' Park and Newcastle have said the ground will also be open over the weekend.

Paul Gascoigne & Gary Lineker

1990 Archive - West Germany v England

United's players and staff held a minute's silence at the training ground on Friday morning.

Flags at the Football Association headquarters in London's Soho Square and at Wembley Stadium flew at half mast.

Ipswich flags were also lowered at Portman Road and there was a minute's silence before Friday evening's friendly against Spanish side Real Valladolid.

Robson, who was first diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago in 1991, fought a brave battle against the disease.

He beat bowel cancer in 1992, a malignant melanoma in 1995 and a tumour in his right lung and a brain tumour, both in 2006.

In 2007 he vowed to "battle as I've always done" following the start of chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time.

He made his final public appearance at a charity match at St James' Park on Sunday.

An England side, featuring Alan Shearer and several members of the 1990 World Cup squad including Paul Gascoigne and Peter Shilton, beat a Germany team 3-2 in front of almost 30,000 spectators.

The game was a repeat of the 1990 World Cup semi-final when England, managed by Sir Bobby, lost on penalties. Shearer scored the winner in Sunday's friendly, from the penalty spot.

I never played for a more enthusiastic man

Former England striker and BBC presenter Gary Lineker

A statement issued on behalf of Robson's family said: "It is with great sadness that it has been announced today that Sir Bobby Robson has lost his long and courageous battle with cancer.

"He died very peacefully this morning (Friday) at his home in County Durham with his wife and family beside him.

"Sir Bobby's funeral will be private and for family members only.

"A thanksgiving service in celebration of Sir Bobby's life will be held at a later date for his many friends and colleagues.

"Lady Robson and the family would very much appreciate it if their privacy could be respected at this difficult time."

Robson is survived by his wife Elsie, and their three children.

As a player, Robson, who played as a wing half, was a key member of the Fulham and West Brom team during the 1950s and 1960s and also won 20 caps for England.

But it was in management that he established himself as one of the greats of the game.

606: YOUR TRIBUTES
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After a brief spell as a player-coach with Vancouver Royals in the North American Soccer League, he took over as boss of Fulham in January 1968 but was sacked by Christmas.

He took over as Ipswich manager in 1969 and guided the unfashionable East Anglian club to FA Cup and Uefa Cup victories in 1978 and 1981 respectively. He also twice led the Portman Road outfit to the runners-up spot in the old First Division.

Robson's Ipswich success led to him succeeding Ron Greenwood as England manager after the 1982 World Cup.

Failure to qualify for the 1984 European Championship was followed by a run to the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where England lost 2-1 to Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal and a superb individual strike by the Argentine legend.

Floral tributes at St James's Park
Floral tributes are being laid at Newcastle's St James' Park

The 1988 European Championship were also a write-off with England failing to win any of their group games, but at Italia 90, Robson came within a whisker of guiding the national team to its first World Cup final since winning the tournament in 1966.

England needed extra-time to defeat Belgium and Cameroon in the knock-out stages, but came unstuck on penalties against West Germany in the semi-final. Gary Lineker forced extra-time with a late equaliser, but Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed from the spot as England bowed out.

Lineker told BBC Sport: "It is a sad day and a great loss. He was a wonderful man and will be deeply missed by everybody in the country.

"I never played for a more enthusiastic man. He gave so much to the game."

During the tournament, it was revealed that Robson would be leaving his England role to take over at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, where he went on to win successive league titles in 1991 and 92.

He moved on to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon at the end of the season, but his stay lasted only 18 months and it was at rivals Porto that he collected more silverware. The 1994 Portuguese Cup was followed by two more league titles.

Archive - Sports Personality honours Sir Bobby

That sparked interest from Barcelona and Robson moved to Spain in 1996 where he won the European Cup Winners' Cup and Copa del Rey in his first season in charge.

A brief return to PSV preceded his 1999 move to Newcastle and he led his beloved Magpies from the bottom of the Premier League to fourth place in 2001/02, third the following season and fifth in 2003/04.

In 2002 he was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

He was sacked by Newcastle in 2004, when he was 71, following a poor start to the season - but he was later given the freedom of the city.

In May 2008, he was given the freedom of Ipswich to mark the 30th anniversary of their 1-0 FA Cup win over Arsenal.



see also
Robson was gentleman of game
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Football honours Sir Bobby Robson
01 Aug 09 |  Football
Robson in his own words
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Sir Bobby Robson's life in photos
31 Jul 09 |  Football
Your tributes to Sir Bobby Robson
31 Jul 09 |  Football
The disease that stalked Sir Bobby
31 Jul 09 |  Health
PM 'saddened' by Robson's death
31 Jul 09 |  UK Politics
Football match honours Sir Bobby
26 Jul 09 |  England
Sir Bobby gets freedom of Durham
08 Dec 08 |  Football
Archive - Sports Personality honours Sir Bobby
03 Nov 08 |  Sports Personality
1990 Archive - West Germany v England
23 Mar 09 |  Football


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